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BIRCWH Scholar Expectations

Required activities

  • Development of an Independent Research Project: Each Scholar is required to develop an independent research project in a substantive area of women’s health. This project can include clinical, epidemiological, translational, behavioral or basic science components.
  • Preparation and/or Submission of Abstracts and Manuscripts: Each Scholar is required to prepare and submit first author abstracts and manuscripts. The abstracts should be submitted to national meetings either in women’s health or sponsored by a professional society in the Scholar's field. Similarly, manuscripts should be submitted to professional journals or to women's health journals. It is expected that each Scholar submits at least one first author abstract and 2 manuscripts per year.
  • Submission of Grant Applications: By the end of the training program, each Scholar is expected to have submitted one, or preferably more, applications for independent research funding, to be revised and resubmitted when necessary.
  • Mentor Team Meetings: Scholars and their primary mentors meet approximately every two weeks for a one hour meeting, or more frequently as needed, to discuss research progress, coursework and other opportunities. Scholars meet with the entire mentor team once every two months to review current research and course activities.
  • Monthly BIRCWH Scholar Meetings: Scholars are expected to attend and periodically lead a monthly BIRCWH Scholar meeting. Past Scholars and current mentors are also invited to attend. The meetings are used to exchange information about research progress and opportunities, review grant proposals in progress, and practice research presentations.
  • External Advisory Committee Meetings: Scholars are expected to present their research at the biennial meetings of the External Advisory Committee. The meeting also provides Scholars the opportunity to discuss their experiences and concerns in a private session with the EAC.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research: At the University of Maryland, the ethical and responsible conduct of research is a concern of the highest priority. All Scholars are required to complete the online CITI course in the Protection of Human Research Subjects. Any Scholar engaged in human subjects research must also complete the HIPAA training courses available through the UMSOM Human Research Protections Office. In addition to these courses, all Scholars will be required to take one additional course on research ethics. Scholars may choose from the following:
  • Workshops and Professional Development Seminars: The School of Medicine, as well as the other professional schools on campus, provides workshops and seminars on professional development, including teaching and research skill development. One series on grant proposal development, meeting for eight successive weeks, is targeted to K-award recipients (part of institutional support). The many weekly workshops/seminars, some of which are targeted to women and minority faculty, are open to faculty at all levels, fellows and residents.
  • Seminars, Conferences, Journal Clubs, Grand Rounds: Within the University, there are numerous seminars, conferences, journal clubs, and Grand Rounds. Scholars are expected to attend such offerings in areas of their own interest. Attendance at monthly seminars sponsored by the Women’s Health Research Group is also expected. Scholars are expected to attend a national scientific meeting in their area of research interest annually, in order to network with colleagues, learn about new research findings, and to present their own data.
  • Annual BIRCWH Scholar Meeting: Scholars are expected to attend the Annual BIRCWH Scholar Meeting at NIH, and to make oral or poster presentations of their research findings

Optional activities

  • Informal Teaching Opportunities: Scholars have the option to learn/improve teaching skills through informal teaching opportunities at UMB, including journal clubs, departmental seminars, and seminars sponsored by the Women’s Health Research Group. As part of their training, some Scholars lecture in departmental courses, or may serve as small group instructors in the teaching of medical students, or as lab instructors for graduate courses.
  • Didactic Training: The mentor team, after examination of the background and experience of the Scholar, will consider whether the Scholar would benefit from formal coursework in substantive areas or in the design and conduct of research. If necessary, Scholars devote part or all of the first year to coursework, while spending some time with the mentor team developing research plans. Didactic training is designed to provide the skills necessary for research in the specific field of interest, and is selected from courses offered by a variety of departments at the University of Maryland. For example, a Scholar might elect to enroll in substantive courses or the M.S. in Clinical Research degree program if he/she needs training in the design and conduct of research, in particular clinical or epidemiologic research. Alternatively, a Scholar may elect to enroll in substantive courses in genomics/genetics, immunology, gerontology or other areas relevant to his/her research.
  • Organizing Minisymposia or Visiting Scientist Lecture: Scholars are encouraged to invite researchers in their area of interest to visit the University of Maryland for a presentation of their work. These events provide an excellent opportunity for professional networking.