April 12, 2022 — Health care is about more than caring directly for patients — it is also about conducting research that will improve science and lead to better care in the future.
“Some clinicians who are trying to make research part of their careers may have great ideas to explore but lack the experience in how best to investigate them,” said Ron Shorr, M.D., M.S., a UF College of Medicine research professor in the department of epidemiology. “And that’s what TRACTS is here to help with.”
TRACTS — the Training and Research Academy for Clinical and Translational Science — is a training program for early-career faculty who have an interest in pursuing clinical or translational research.
“The program is designed to help navigate people through that,” said Shorr, the program director. “The idea is to help individuals develop into engaged faculty outside of direct patient care.”
TRACTS is open to UF Health academic health center faculty members, and interested faculty can contact Shorr.
The program offers a free online course hosted on Canvas called, “Introduction to Clinical/Translational Research (ICTR),” comprising 20 hours of lectures by senior UF faculty. The material gives the learners an introduction to methods used in clinical and translational research and resources available to conduct clinical and translational research at UF.
The highly interactive series, which consists of 10 sessions led by expert faculty in the academic health center, includes basic elements of study design, database design and management, health center resources, regulatory issues and biostatistical considerations, Shorr said.
TRACTS participants also meet once monthly on Saturdays to troubleshoot issues, discuss their ideas, share challenges and gain insight from listening to other perspectives.
“I view this more as a faculty development program rather than a career development program,” Shorr said. “It’s really about having a community that helps in wayfinding.”