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The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate impact on the lives and work of early-career researchers. We leveraged a cluster-randomized trial and compared survey data collected over two timepoints to explore whether these impacts persisted. Although more than a year had passed, 74% of participants reported that their research was affected in multiple ways in both 2020 and 2021. These data suggest that the effects of the pandemic on early-career researchers may be prolonged. Our findings additionally serve as an impetus to identify and implement solutions to early-career challenges that undoubtedly existed before the pandemic, but which COVID-19 brought into the spotlight.
Community engagement (CE) is critical for advancing health equity and a key approach for promoting inclusive clinical and translational science. However, it requires a workforce trained to effectively design, implement, and evaluate health promotion and improvement strategies through meaningful collaboration with community members. This paper presents an approach for designing CE curricula for research, education, clinical care, and public health learners. A general pedagogical framework is presented to support curriculum development with the inclusion of community members as facilitators or faculty. The overall goal of the curriculum is envisioned as enabling learners to effectively demonstrate the principles of CE in working with community members on issues of concern to communities to promote health and well-being. We highlight transformations needed for the commonly used critical service-learning model and the importance of faculty well-versed in CE. Courses may include didactics and practicums with well-defined objectives and evaluation components. Because of the importance of building and maintaining relationships in CE, a preparatory phase is recommended prior to experiential learning, which should be guided and designed to include debriefing and reflective learning. Depending on the scope of the course, evaluation should include community perspectives on the experience.
In order to conduct translational science, scientists must combine domain-specific expertise with knowledge on how to identify and cross translational hurdles, and insights on positioning discoveries for the next translational stage. Expert educators from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium identified 97 knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) important to include in training programs for translational scientists. To assist educators and trainees to use these KSAs, a conceptual model called “Personalized Pathways” was developed that prioritizes KSAs based on trainee background, research area, or phenotype, and expertise on the research team.
To understand how CTSA educators prioritize specific KSAs when developing personalized training plans for different translational phenotypes and to identify areas of similarity and difference across phenotypes.
A web-based, cross-sectional survey of CTSA educators was done. For a selected phenotype, respondents recommended one of four levels of mastery for each of the 97 KSAs. Results were tabulated by frequency, weighted by importance, and divided into tertiles representing high, middle, and lower priority KSAs. Agreement across phenotypes was compared using Krippendorff’s alpha.
Ten KSAs were high training priority for Preclinical, Clinical, and Community-Engaged phenotypes. These address research methods, responsible conduct of research, team building, and communicating research results. Nine KSAs were in the next tertile for priority reflecting KSAs in biostatistics, bioinformatics, regulatory precepts, and translating implications of research findings.
A smaller set of KSAs can be prioritized for training Preclinical-, Clinical-, and Community-Engaged researchers. Future work should explore this approach for other phenotypes.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The use of digital practices and approaches can potentially increase the quality and efficiency of all phases of the traditional clinical translational research (CTR) process. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe key stakeholders’ perspectives on the need to: (A) formalize training in digital practices and approaches among CTR trainees; and (B) develop an aligned educational framework that defines core competencies, educational methods, and evaluation metrics. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Participants (n=66) were recruited via email from June to November 2017 using purposive and snowball sampling methods across 4 groups: (1) English speaking national and international experts from academic and private sector institutions with working experience in using digital practices and approaches in research (n=36), (2) CTR educators (n=8), (3) CTR trainees (n=13), and (4) Members of the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Southern California (n=9). Online focus groups were conducted using a semi-structured, open-ended interview guide through Google Hangouts and a conference call interface. Sessions were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and 2 research team members performed independent content analyses to identify before and emergent themes using an inductive analytic approach. Kappa was calculated for inter-rater agreement and repeated until agreement was at least 0.70. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Participants’ average age (41.2 yrs, SD 9.26), gender (59% females), non-Hispanic (97%), race (72% White), and doctoral degree (67%). In total, 85% reported experience in teaching digital practices and approaches in research, although 70% were currently not teaching in this field. Participants reported that complementary teaching in digital practices and approaches across the 15 Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) CTR competency areas was relevant, especially in literature review, research implementation, statistical approaches, biomedical informatics, regulatory support, responsible conduct of research, scientific communication, translational teamwork, cross-disciplinary training, leadership, and community engagement; and less so in literature critique, study design, sources of error, and cultural diversity. Additional competencies were identified, for example, online study recruitment, crowdfunding, team and project management, scholarly impact metrics (Altmetrics), ethical and regulatory guidance for conducting research using digital approaches. Five main educational practices were identified including online training sessions, flexible on-demand modules, in-person consultations and training, and project-oriented hands-on workshops. Among the identified challenges were the need for clear metrics in order to evaluate such a training program. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: There was consistent support for a structured program to help CTR trainees to develop competency in digital research practices and approaches. Our results indicate that an education program focused on digital practices and approaches should include a step-wise approach to meet different research and training goals, allowing attendees to increase their awareness and specialized hands-on practical experience.
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