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ASRM/NICHD/DUKE Clinical Research/ Reproductive Scientist Training (CREST) Program

Program Begins in Fall 2020
Applications for 2020-2021 are due July 1st, 2020

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, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  CREST 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 2-year program engages the practicing physician in clinical research while allowing the individual to maintain an active role in clinical practice.

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 attend an in-person investigator meeting of NIH funded PIs conducting clinical trials in reproductive medicine. Scholars who successfully complete the didactic component of the program receive a certificate from the CRTP at Duke University. In the second year, Scholars are provided with access to research mentorship, biostatistical support, and opportunities to engage in team science.  All are expected to conduct, present, and publish secondary analyses of existing clinical trial databases that are relevant to the Scholar’s own interest and that will continue beyond the CREST program. Such opportunities include: 1) participating in secondary analysis of data relating to the Reproductive Medicine Network, the newly formed CONFIRM consortia, or other selected 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).

Any M.D. 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. Individuals who are underrepresented in medicine (https://www.aamc.org/what-we-do/mission-areas/diversity-inclusion/underrepresented-in-medicine) and females are encouraged to apply.

Criteria:  

Applicants must have:   

  1. Received the M.D. degree
  2. Completed a residency in a recognized medical specialty
  3. 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
  2. Eligible for Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) funding (requires U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status green card).

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 (cwhitmer@asrm.org) by the evaluators.
  • USA Citizenship.  Verification of citizenship status is required.

Selection Process:  

Candidates will be selected by an ASRM review committee. Award Compensation:  CREST will cover the didactic component fees for each scholar as well as travel expenses and a small stipend for the in-person investigator meeting. The Scholar’s home organization or institution will be responsible for salary and fringe benefits to cover the Scholar’s time commitment to the program.  Scholar awards are contingent on the availability of federal funds.

Orientation to the program will occur at the ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo in October.  

Application Deadline:  

The deadline for receipt of applications for the 2020-2021 academic year is July 1st, 2020, midnight CDT. All application materials and correspondence concerning your application should be emailed to Chris Whitmer of ASRM at cwhitmer@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 July 31, 2020. 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 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 

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 

The CREST program has been an invaluable part of my career development.  Through CREST, I have had numerous opportunities to network and collaborate with nationally recognized investigators.  As a former CREST scholar, I have also been asked to participate in ASRM working groups and contribute to practice committee documents.   I highly recommend the CREST program to anyone interested in honing their research skills and building relationships with others in the field. 
– Jennifer L. Eaton, M.D., M.S.C.I., CREST Scholar

I could not recommend the CREST program any more highly.  The educational material was very clear and provides practical education in study design and statistics.  This helped me to immediately improve my research projects.  As an alumnus of the program, CREST continues to provide me with opportunities to conduct research with leading researchers in reproductive medicine and very robust data sets.
– Micah J. Hill, 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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Needed to Apply for CREST

  • Application
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Interest
  • Statement of IPA Eligibility
  • Letters of Evaluation
  • USA Citizenship