A cornerstone of the integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia is the iTHRIV Scholars Program. This competitive program prepares trainees to excel in a transformed biomedical research environment in which digital data drives health care hypotheses, interventions, and health quality evaluation.
The program also contributes to the growth and development of team science culture created by the marriage of data-driven approaches with robust clinical translational research across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The iTHRIV Scholars Program is a mentored, career development award over a two-year period. A request for applications is released in the fall each year and requires an NIH-like submission process with study section review and assessment. Finalists are interviewed in person; awards are announced in the spring, and awards begin on July 1st.
In addition to learning from conducting their proposed mentored iTHRIV research project, Scholars come together one afternoon each week to engage together in activities designed to help prepare them for a successful future in clinical and/or translational health research. The programming of these weekly sessions focuses on the fundamental characteristics of a translational scientist with added emphasis on principles and practices of data science, team science, the art and skill of writing successful extramural proposals, scientific integrity and responsible research, peer mentoring, and professional development. All Scholars are required to attend the weekly sessions. During select sessions Scholars will participate in “Bring your own” to give and receive feedback on their own scholarly work. Scholars also take part in Writing Accountability Groups and workshop their developing proposals at certain points of the program. Scholars can expect to discuss community-based participatory research, and have opportunities to practice engaging with community members for research design and dissemination.
The iTHRIV Scholars Program continues to diversify, and each year the Scholars receive a uniquely tailored version of session programming. The delivery of this programming is heavily dependent on Scholar feedback as well as on the gaps and trajectories of each specific cohort of Scholars, and it is primarily delivered through a flipped classroom approach. Our Scholar cohorts consist of faculty from UVA, VT and Carilion Clinic and we use Zoom to gather together for our weekly sessions. While we provide a wide variety of focused material through program, Scholars supplement this training with additional certificate programs or Master’s degrees as determined by their own professional development needs (for example, prior Scholars have pursued formal training programs in Data Science, Clinical Research, Regulatory Science and Implementation Science). Our iTHRIV Scholars Leadership Team is available to discuss these opportunities as well as the more specific details of the training we provide so that Scholars can make the most appropriate and efficient decisions for their career development plans.