The Clinical Hematology Research Career Development Program at Washington University (Hematology CDP) is an innovative initiative of the NIH Roadmap that will prepare trainees (Heme Scholars) to address complex clinical and translational research problems in non-malignant hematology. Scholars are expected to become independent researchers and assume leadership roles in non-malignant clinical hematology.

The Hematology CDP combines disease-specific and general clinical research teaching with a mentored clinical research project, over two or three years, for Scholars selected from an outstanding and diverse candidate pool. Scholars will be clinical or research Fellows, clinical or research Instructors, or recently appointed Assistant Professors. Candidates must have support from their department to commit at least 75% of their time to the program. Scholars receive generous financial support and benefits that allow them to concentrate on multidisciplinary clinical and translational research. Participation in the program requires a commitment of at least two years, and the term of support may be extended to three years.

The elements of the program are timed to maximize opportunities for Scholars to apply new skills in their own research. Up to one year is devoted to acquiring the fundamental knowledge needed to perform clinical research in non-malignant hematology. The Clinical Core Curriculum covers the specific knowledge necessary to care for patients with specific non-malignant hematologic diseases who may become subjects for clinical research. The complementary Didactic Clinical Research Curriculum teaches the general skills necessary to conduct clinical research effectively and ethically, with the option to earn a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Investigation. The balance between these components and total time devoted to them will vary depending on the prior training of Scholars. The Advisory Committee is responsible for approving a curriculum that meets the needs of each Scholar. The Mentored Research Experience will begin as soon as feasible, during the first year if appropriate to the Scholar's prior training, and will enable Scholars to use the skills taught by the curriculum to design and perform a clinical research project. Scholars will benefit from supervision by two skilled Mentors and oversight by a Scholar-specific Career Development Committee that is analogous to a Ph.D. thesis committee. Additional key program features include seminars, symposia, journal clubs, and clinical research meetings. Graduating Heme Scholars will be ready to lead, design, and conduct clinical research and work effectively in collaborative multidisciplinary teams. This comprehensive approach will provide optimal training to launch successful academic careers in non-malignant clinical hematology research.

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