CREST: Clinical Research/Reproductive Scientist Training

Program Begins in Fall 2015

Applications for 2015-2016 are due August 31, 2015 

This training program is offered by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at Duke University, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and it meets an existing need for formalized academic training in the quantitative and methodological principles of clinical research in reproductive medicine. Designed specifically for physicians in private or academic clinical practice in reproductive medicine, this innovative program engages the practicing physician in clinical research while allowing the individual to maintain an active role in clinical practice. It is a one year program with an optional second year.

During the first year, participants in the program, CREST Scholars, receive didactic on-line training from the CRTP, attend CREST seminars at the annual meeting of ASRM and one intensive weekend seminar at the NIH.  Successful completion of the program includes both the didactic component of training as well as practical engagement in various research activities deemed appropriate for each Scholar that will continue beyond the CREST Program. Such opportunities may include: 1) participating in secondary analysis of data relating to Reproductive Medicine Network studies; 2) developing and completing a clinical research project in their own practice; 3) participating in other NIH or ASRM activities that pertain to research and/or assessment of the literature (e.g., an ASRM guidelines task force); and 4) other research opportunities that may become available.  Each Scholar will be assigned a research mentor who will guide him/her into specific research activities either before or at the conclusion of the first year.  Successful participants in the program receive a Certificate in Clinical Research from the CRTP at Duke University.  An optional second year is available that will guide the Scholar more formally through a research project.

Any MD engaged in the practice of reproductive medicine – regardless of specialty – and who has completed training is eligible to apply. Applications from obstetrician-gynecologists, urologists, internists, and family practitioners (among others) are welcome. 

Criteria:  

Applicants must have:   

  1. Received the M.D. degree, 
  2. Completed a residency in a recognized medical specialty
  3. Fellows must have completed training and be engaged in clinical practice  prior to the start of the program
  4. Clinical experience and a demonstrated interest in reproductive medicine. 

In addition, applicants must be:  

  1. Members of ASRM, and 
  2. Eligible for Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) funding. Individuals with these credentials are encouraged to apply.

Application Process:

Applicants should submit electronically the application form and provide the following supporting documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV). A current CV must be included with the application form. 
  • Statement of Interest. A 500-word statement of interest describing career goals and the expected role of this program in accomplishing those goals. 
  • Statement of IPA Eligibility. A statement certifying the applicant’s eligibility to be funded under an IPA agreement. 
  • Letters of Evaluation. Three letters are required.  They should be written by persons, such as potential mentors, who are qualified to testify to the applicant’s capacity for graduate work.    Letters should be emailed to The CREST Program directly (jdecker@asrm.org) by the evaluators.
  • USA Citizenship.  To qualify for an IPA for the CREST program, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card).  Please verify your citizenship status.

Selection Process:  

Candidates will be nominated by an ASRM review committee and forwarded through NICHD to the CRTP at Duke University. 

Award Compensation: CREST will cover full tuition for each scholar as well as travel, expenses and a small stipend for the intensive weekend seminars. The scholar’s home practice organization or institution will be responsible for salary and fringe benefits. Scholar awards are contingent on the availability of federal funds.

We are currently planning for an Orientation to the program at the ASRM Annual Meeting in October.  Selected CREST Scholars will have their travel paid by the CREST program.

Application Deadline:  

The deadline for receipt of applications for the 2015-2016 academic year is August 31, 2015, midnight CDT. All application materials and correspondence concerning the application should be emailed to jdecker@asrm.org (please mark the subject line: CREST Application Submission). Only electronic submissions will be accepted.

Applicants will be notified of admission decisions not later than September 15, 2015. Materials submitted in support of an application will not be released for other purposes and cannot be returned to the applicant. 


 

See what the CREST Scholars say about the program: 

I feel very fortunate to be participating in the CREST program. I’m relearning some concepts that I was introduced to as a reproductive endocrinology fellow, but I am better able to appreciate them now that I have been in clinical practice. I’d highly recommend the program to anyone wishing to improve his/her clinical research skills.
-- Valerie Baker, M.D., CREST Scholar 

I thought I had a good understanding of study design and statistics. CREST has put it all together for me in an intelligently formatted series of modules. I can’t wait to design and implement my next study.
-- Ruben Alvero, M.D., CREST Scholar 

The CREST program has increased my knowledge and comfort with study design and statistical methods. ASRM, NIH and Duke are to be commended for the tremendous effort and resources they have committed to the program.
-- John L. Frattarelli, M.D., CREST Scholar 

CREST has helped to further my understanding of clinical research design and statistics. The web-based format makes it easy to interact with the CREST faculty and other CREST scholars. I feel lucky to participate in the program in its inaugural year.
-- Rebecca S. Usadi, M.D., CREST Scholar  

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