All fellows are required to spend their first year gaining practical experience with clinical and translational research methodology. The objective of this experience is to lay the groundwork necessary for future academic productivity and success. Each fellow assumes responsibility for a focused investigation executed under the direct supervision of an experienced mentor. Typically, incoming fellows elect to work with program faculty with laboratory-based research programs. Opportunities are available across a spectrum of molecular cancer genetics, proteogenomics, population sciences, immunobiology, clinical trial design, and molecular epidemiology. Additional options can also be considered depending on trainees’ specific interests and/or experience.
Incoming fellows should plan to meet with program leadership as early as possible to discuss available options, so that a plan for their training can be finalized shortly after arriving on campus. It is anticipated that each fellow will have completed at least a rough draft of a manuscript suitable for subsequent use as their thesis by the conclusion of the first year. To support this goal, clinical and call responsibilities are kept to a minimum. Academic progress will be monitored via quarterly meetings with the broader program faculty.
In addition to laboratory-based activities, fellows complete two formal courses designed to improve their familiarity with biostatistics and bioanalytics. These are offered at the USF/Moffitt campus during the spring semester. Throughout the year, research fellows also participate in weekly didactic sessions that include a dedicated genetics tumor board, monthly M&M conferences, and formal didactic lectures. An informal monthly dinner is hosted by the fellowship director that serves as an unstructured educational session and journal club.