The goal of PSPCO is to foster the development of the next generation of clinical scientists to be effective partners with discovery scientists and conduct high impact and innovative patient-centered cancer research. Open to MDs and MD/PhDs. Must have a faculty or instructor appointment at UCSF by start of program. See eligibility and application requirements below. Applications due December 1, 2023
More information below. Questions? Email Jennifer Seuferer.
Upcoming K12 Program Seminars
Two seminars series are offered and open to HDFCCC faculty and trainees - Concept to Completion, Strategies for Successful Clinical Trials (C2C) and Career Development and Leadership (CD/L)Seminars. Upcoming seminars below. Register here.
- Aug. 25 - C2C: Protocol Structure and Review
- Aug. 31 - C2C: Fostering Diversity in Clinical Research
- Oct. 12 - CD/L: Organizational Structure of an NCI Designated Cancer Center
- Nov. 9 - C2C: Informed Consent and Clinical Trial Ethics
- Nov. 16 - C2C: Types of Trials and Sponsors and General Activation Process
2024 Seminar dates TBA. For a list of topics see below.
Lead by Michelle Arkin, PhD and Trever Bivona, MD/PhD
This workshop will provide training and a rigorous foundation for hypothesis-driven patient-focused research, covering clinical and preclinical iteration. Participants will participate in interactive didactic and individualized discussions that culminate in a translational and/or clinical research protocol synopsis focused on testing a patient-centered hypothesis of their interest(s). Open to postdocs, graduate students, senior clinical fellows and early career faculty. Topics include, preclinical foundations & case studies, pharmacodynamic studies & biomarkers, combination studies, and synopsis of clinical trial design.
Occurs in July each year. Registration will open in April or May.
This series of seminars provides high-yield, practical information about designing, funding, and conducting patient-facing oncology trials. Each year 7 seminars are offered. To receive the Concept to Completion Certificate of Completion, you must attend 6 out of the 7 with in two years. Open to senior fellows and early career faculty. Contact Jennifer Seuferer for more information.
1. Protocol structure & review
2. Fostering diversity in clinical research
3. Types of Trials/sponsors & general activation process
4. Informed consent & clinical trial ethics
5. Clinical trial design and data analysis
6. Clinical outcomes research, PROs & database topics
|May||7. Building your research portfolio & keeping it in the black|
This seminar series includes career development and leadership topics to help physician scientists advance their careers. Its a 2 year curriculum with topics repeating every other year.
1. Demystifying the Climb - Promotions at UCSF
2. Promoting an Inclusive Environment
3. Strategic Service Roles and Building Networks
4. Organizational Structure of an NCI Designated Cancer Center
5. Engaging community in your work- how to do it and why it matters
6. Communication & conflict management especially in multi-disciplinary teams
7. Building, leading and sustaining an effective team, including planning for funding
8. Maximizing the impact of your work – preprints, twitter, social media
|May||9. Leveraging philanthropy to build and sustain your research program|
HDFCCC K12 Eligibility and Application Requirements
The goal of the HDFCCC K12 Physician Scholar Program in Clinical Oncology (PSPCO) is to foster the development of the next generation of clinical scientists to be effective partners with discovery scientists and conduct high impact and innovative patient-centered cancer research. The PSPCO will be housed in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC), bringing to bear the exceptional research, clinical, and training environment of one of the world’s leading health sciences institutes. Building on recent research and technology advancements and key areas for training identified in the HDFCCC strategic review, this multidisciplinary training program will leverage strengths in basic cancer research, experimental therapeutics, and clinical research methodology. An accomplished group of faculty mentors will bring expertise in cancer-related clinical and translational research, imaging, patient-reported outcomes, biomarkers, healthcare disparities, community engagement, and biostatistics.
The two-year Program, which incorporates mentored research, career development guidance, and a core curriculum, is designed to allow completion of the year-long Advanced Training in Clinic Research certificate program (or just ad hoc classes from the program) in epidemiologic and biostatistical methods in Year 1. Year 2 will focus on mentored research, professional skills, and achieving independence. Each Scholar will work with at least one clinically focused and one laboratory-based mentor on their career development committee to design an individual career development plan (ICDP). The ICDP will outline goals and tailored didactic and hands-on training experiences (including short clinical and laboratory rotations, grant-writing workshops, etc.) that will ensure competency across four core areas: (1) clinical research methods; (2) principles of translational cancer research and drug development; (3) academic success skills and (4) responsible conduct of research. Upon completion, scholars will have the tools to lead independent, rigorous, and impactful patient-centered clinical research programs.
The PSPCO seeks to recruit Scholars from diverse disciplinary and demographic backgrounds. Scholars must have MDs or MD/PhDs, have completed residency/fellowship training, and be committed to a career in patient-facing, clinical-translational cancer research (see applicant eligibility requirements for examples of “patient-facing” research). We do not require a minimum amount of patient-facing research experience, but the proposed research project must be patient-facing and the work must have some link to discovery science, such as, clinical work informed by lab-based search, projects that incorporate novel biomedical imaging tools, or projects that will generate or utilize human biospecimens for research. The Program is structured to meet different needs. For example, there are several options for clinical research training, ranging from elective courses to a master’s degree in clinical research. In addition, Scholars will be able to tailor their experiential learning, coursework, workshops, and 1:1 mentoring with Mentors to build on their prior training and research experiences. Scholars are expected to apply for an individual K award (e.g. K08 or equivalent) by the completion of the training encompassed by the K12 program.
The HDFCCC K12 seeks to provide training in each of four areas: (1) patient-facing clinical cancer research methods; (2) principles of translational cancer research and drug discovery; and (3) academic success skills. Training will be accomplished through:
- Career Development Guidance – Scholars will form a Career Development Committee (CDC) with a primary, secondary, and career mentor. Ad hoc mentors can be added as needed for specific feedback. CDCs will meet twice a year. Scholars will complete an individual career development plan they will be reviewed at each meeting. Scholars will also present their research and receive feedback at the K12 Works-in-Progress which occur quarterly.
- Mentored Research – Scholars receive funding for 75% (minimum of 50% for surgeons) protected time for their K12 research.
- Core Curriculum – PSPCO required curriculum is:
- Concept to Completion, Strategies for Successful Clinical Trials (quarterly) - Seminar series aimed at providing high-yield, practical information about designing, funding, and conducting patient-facing trials. (Faculty leads: Katie Kelley, MD, Elliot Stieglitz, MD, and Pamela Munster, MD)
- Career Development and Leadership Seminar Series (quarterly) - These seminars will provide additional training in career development and leadership topics, along with networking opportunities with HDFCCC leaders.
- Clinically Driven Discovery Science in Cancer: From the Bench to the Bedside Workshop (1 week in Year 1) - Provides training and a rigorous foundation for hypothesis-driven patient-focused research, covering clinical and preclinical iteration. Participants will participate in interactive didactic and individualized discussions that culminate in a translational and/or clinical research protocol synopsis focused on testing a patient-centered hypothesis of their interest(s). Topics include, preclinical foundations & case studies, pharmacodynamic studies & biomarkers, combination studies, and synopsis of clinical trial design.
- Junior investigator within 5 years of a faculty appointment who has not yet reached research independence. Senior clinical fellows who will have faculty status at UCSF by the time the funding period begins are also eligible.
- Applicants with an Instructor appointment are also eligible but they will need a letter from their Division Chief/Department Chair addressing the rationale for the Instructor appointment and the likelihood of progressing to Assistant Professor rank.
- Commitment to devote at least 75% time to research and PSPCO-related career development and training activities (including all relevant didactic activities during the period of the award).
- Note: surgeon-scientists with surgical duties may request a minimum of 50% full-time research and career development effort (for the purpose of maintaining specialty clinical competency)
- Interest in performing patient-facing research, some examples are below. These are not the only types of eligible research but examples of what qualifies as patient-facing research. We encourage you to contact us if you have a question on your research’s eligibility.
- Clinical trials
- Treatment trials
- Prevention (action, agent) trials
- Screening/early detection trials
- Quality of life, supportive care, survivorship and/or palliative care trials
- Other non-treatment studies
- Medical decision-making
- Patient-provider communication
- Navigation and support services for patients
- Natural history studies
- Biomarker studies using clinical samples (i.e., translation of findings from lab to clinic or back iteratively)
- Risk assessment
- Monitoring treatment response
- Early-stage cancer, diagnosis, cancer-post diagnosis, post-treatment risk
- DNA, RNA, methylome, protein, imaging, pathological, etc.
- Clinical trials
- Primary research mentor identified at UCSF.
- Each Scholar’s Career Development Committee must include both clinical and lab-based investigators since this training program focuses on ensuring clinical scientists are effective partners with discovery scientists. Specific examples of relevant partnerships include:
- A Scholar studying medical decision-making or screening in patients with a hereditary cancer syndrome could partner with a discovery researcher who studies BRCA-related cancers.
- A Scholar studying early detection could partner with a lab-based researcher who has discovered a potentially relevant biomarker.
- a Scholar studying survivorship could partner with a lab-based researcher who studies the impact of stress or exercise on tumor progression, or the molecular basis for therapy-associated neuropathy.
- A Scholar who studies biomarkers of response using human xenograft models could partner with a clinician with disease-specific expertise.
- A Scholar conducting a clinical therapeutic trial could partner with a lab-based investigator to conduct correlative studies.
- Evidence of MD degree
- US citizen, noncitizen national of the United States, or lawfully admitted permanent resident at the time of application.
- Individuals from historically marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.
In addition, the Scholar’s home department/division must commit to ensuring 75% (50% for surgeon-scientists) protected time for the Scholar’s research and PSPCO activities and must agree to cover approximately half of the over-the-cap scholar salary. The Cancer Center will support half of over-the-cap excess trainee salary for 75% effort (minimum of 50% for surgeon-scientists) at a maximum full-time salary of $214,000 (ex: $160,500 at 75% effort) and associated fringe benefits. While this support will be calculated to actual salary and benefits, the maximum Cancer Center support per trainee will be $38,221 a year, assuming a full FTE salary of $214,000 and a fringe benefit rate of 26.35%. The maximum number of trainees per year is 2 as capped by the K12 budget. The five department/divisions list below have already agreed to provide this level of support for PSPCO scholars:
- Department of Pediatrics/Division of Hematology-Oncology
- Department of Medicine/Division of Hematology-Oncology
- Department of Radiation-Oncology
- Department of Surgery
- Department of Neurological Surgery/Division of Neurological Surgery
If you do not have a primary appointment in one of the above departments/divisions, you may still apply but must provide a letter of support from your department/division head stating they will provide the requested level of support as stated above and your department/division head will need to sign a MOU with the Cancer Center (template at end of RFA).
Current or previous NIH K award recipients are not eligible to apply.
The K12 grant will provide salary support up to $100,000 per year plus fringe benefits based on a full-time appointment, for up to two years of funding. Research and development support up to $30,000 per year may be provided for the following expenses:
- Research expenses, such as supplies, equipment, and technical personnel
- Tuition and fees related to required career development courses and activities
- Travel to research meetings or trainings
- Statistical services, including, personnel and computer time
Each cycle, members of the PSPCO Advisory Committee will review applications and select Scholars using a process modeled on NIH peer review. The selection process and interviews will occur in January 2025, applicants will be informed in February, and the program will begin July 1, 2025.
Selection criteria will focus on the demonstrated strengths and future potential of the candidate for a career in patient-facing cancer research, and their commitment to the UCSF PRIDE Values. Selection criteria will include:
- Prior research productivity, and accomplishments
- Strength and feasibility of the training plan
- Candidates’ potential for success
- Support from the scholar’s research mentor and department for the two-year duration of the program
- Quality, feasibility, and potential for success of the research protocol
- Commitment to the K12 program
- Contribution to diversity
- Suitability of mentor
Applicants should submit the following, in the order listed below, as a single PDF file (11pt Arial, 1.5 line spacing):
- Applicants from Departments/Divisions not listed in the Applicant Eligibility Requirements Section will require a signed MOU (template provided here) by their department/division to show financial commitment.
- Applicants with an Instructor appointment need a letter from their Division Chief/Department Chair addressing the rationale for the Instructor appointment and the likelihood of progressing to Assistant Professor rank.
- Applicant biosketch (NIH style/guidelines) and document with list of Other Support
- Applicant’s primary mentor’s biosketch (NIH style)
- List of all publications, noting those for which you are first author
- Statement of background, interests, and educational/training plan (max. 3 pages). Training plan must include biostatistics training unless applicant has already received previously.
- Research proposal (max. 3 pages)
- Post program career goals (max. 1 page)
- What are your career goals after the program?
- How will this program help you meet those goals?
- In what ways are you preparing yourself to successfully meet your career goals?
- Diversity statement (max. 1 page) - UCSF is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission. Contributions in all areas that promote equal opportunity and diversity will be given due recognition in the review process. The diversity statement provides the opportunity for highlighting your contributions to diversity. You should continue to list all academic contributions under the appropriate sections of your biosketch, here you may emphasize the impact of these contributions on diversity at UCSF and beyond. Examples include:
- Teaching, Mentoring, or University and Public Service activities that address the needs of diverse populations
- Clinical activities for diverse patient populations
- Efforts to advance access to education
- Research that highlights inequalities
- 3 letters of support:
- Applicant’s primary research mentor
- Disease group leader or someone else in the applicant’s research or clinical program area. If applicant is still a trainee, the letter should be written by the applicant’s training program director.
- Department Chair or Division Chief statement addressing suitability of candidate, commitment to ensuring Scholar has 75% (minimum 50% for surgeon-scientists) protected time for research and PSPCO activities, adequacy of space and resources to perform mentored research, and support for candidate’s career development.
- Proof applicant is a US citizen, noncitizen national of the United States, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence at time of application
- Proof of MD degree