Office of Research Development
Early Stage Investigators
MUSC is committed to promoting the development and advancement of Early Stage Investigators. Institutional investments to help ESIs achieve success in their academic careers include the following:
SCTR Resources: MUSC’s South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR), one of NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Programs, offers substantial resources for Early Stage Investigators. SCTR’s Society of Clinical Research and Translational Early Scientists (SOCRATES), a mentoring forum for all mentor and mentee faculty, holds monthly meetings where junior investigators present their research proposals‐in‐development and get peer review feedback. Other SCTR resources include: (1) a robust Pilot Project Program that awards >$1 million dollars in seed funds for promising multi‐disciplinary clinical and translational research, enabling ESIs to form interdisciplinary, interactive and sustainable research networks and teams; (2) extensive support of clinical and translational research at MUSC, including biostatistical assistance and training, database management, an enterprise-wide clinical data warehouse (CDW), and biorepository for ready access to de-identified patient data and human samples, subject recruitment and retention, education and outreach activities, and other training and research opportunities; and (3) a voucher program whereby investigators may request research related vouchers at any given time to pay for lab services, participant recruitment, biostatistical and epidemiological consultations, ethics consultations, and other research costs.
Institutional Resources: MUSC’s Office of Research Development offers a full array of resources to guide early stage investigators towards research independence. These include: (1) Research Project Grant (RPG) Retreats that are modeled after NIH study section reviews to give individual investigators constructive criticism on a specific research concept or proposal; (2) Grantsmanship Workshops focusing on the NIH organization, peer review system, grantsmanship tips, and the ABCs of an R01 or other NIH grant application; (3) Individual and team consultations with external advisors and consultants; and (4) MyPeerReview, an on-line, searchable database that provides information about MUSC faculty service on study sections and special emphasis panels for the NIH and other federal and non-federal sponsors, as well as service as a manuscript reviewer or editorial board member for scientific journals.
Department Mentoring Plan: All academic departments are required to have a faculty mentoring plan based on each department’s unique resources and needs of the faculty, as well as mentoring champion(s) who work under the chair’s direction to implement and ensure the plan’s effectiveness. These plans provide junior faculty with a supportive environment encompassing skills, knowledge, and resources to achieve success and career satisfaction.