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Educating the next generation of clinical/translational scientists

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Master’s in Clinical and Translational Investigation

The Master’s Program will be open for applications in September 2013 for positions beginning July 2014.

A core component of the Clinical and Translational Science Award of the NIH and of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) is the education and cultivation of the next generation of clinical/translational scientists. Young physicians envisioning a career as clinician-scientists or clinical trialists are ideal candidate participants in the KL2 program. The KL2 grant is an NIH-sponsored professional development award that allows for a recently trained clinical physician to pursue a Master’s Degree in the discipline of Clinical and Translational Investigation (MCTI).

Conducted collaboratively with the Kellogg School of Science and Technology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the MCTI program is a two year research-centric educational endeavor that is complemented by a series of seminar based activities directed at preparing the young investigator for a career as a clinical and/or translational scientist.

Eligible Candidates

The program is aimed at young as well as mid-career physicians who have discovered a passion for science/discovery and have a desire to translate basic science discoveries or technologic innovations into meaningful clinical practice interventions. Scholars are enrolled immediately after or near the completion of residency or fellowship training or shortly after embarking upon a clinical career.

Program Objectives

The program will provide the scholar with the knowledge and skills that will enable him/her to:

  • carefully refine research hypotheses
  • compete effectively for grant funding
  • persuasively articulate research findings in both written and verbal form
  • effectively analyze scientific data
  • master numerous basic and clinical laboratory science techniques
  • manage a research laboratory or research group
  • develop a more clear understanding of a variety of basic science disciplines as they apply to clinical discovery
  • effectively collaborate with other basic and clinical investigators.

All will be accomplished via close interaction with the other 450 graduate students and 800 post-doctoral candidates of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology of TSRI,  the faculty of TSRI, STSI, Scripps Clinic, and the West Wireless Institute.

Program Curriculum

The curriculum of the MCTI program involves a series of required courses/seminars and elective courses offered thru the Kellogg School of Science and Technology, which is consistently rated as one of the top seven graduate schools in the biologic and chemical sciences by US News and World Report.

Required courses in Critical Thinking and Scientific Communication, Scientific Ethics, Basic Biostatistics, Clinical Research Design and Execution, Genomics and Proteomics, and Molecular Medicine will be completed during the first or second year of the program.

Elective courses in Molecular Biology, Applied Bioinformatics, Cell Biology, Structural Biology, Immunology, Current Topics in Immunology, Virology, and Neurobiology are available to all scholars.

A complete program curriculum is available here.

Scholar Research Activity

Seminar-based study of clinical trial design, biostatistics, scientific communication and fundamental basic science represent a minority of the scholar’s activity, however. The majority of time is spent refining research skills and conducting either basic or clinical research.

Scholars have an opportunity to participate in a rotational laboratory curriculum during which they learn scientific techniques as they apply to stem cell research, genome sequencing assays, drug discovery, behavioral medicine, community-wide and multi-center trials, wireless medical/physiologic sensing devices and much more. After an introduction to the research laboratories, the scholar will identify a field of research and a laboratory in which he/she intends to complete his/her Master’s thesis.

Unique features of the program include specialty training tracks in Genomic Medicine, Wireless and Telemedicine, and Community Outreach Science that allow the scholar to study and make contributions in these burgeoning fields. Moreover, subspecialty tracks in virtually any discipline of translational medicine are available to our scholars.

Over the course of approximately 18 months, the scholar will conduct intensive study in one of the laboratories at TSRI, STSI, Scripps Clinic, West Wireless Institute or one of the many affiliated research centers of the STSI/CTSA program. During this time frame, the scholar will prepare his/her thesis, receive guidance and counsel from his/her thesis advisory committee, publish at least one but likely several manuscripts related to his/her thesis, and select one manuscript to defend for the Master’s Degree.


The Masters in Clinical and Translational Investigation offered by the Scripps Translational Science Institute in conjunction with the Kellogg School of Science and Technology of The Scripps Research Institute provides an energetic and scientifically minded young physician with the tools that will allow him/her to bridge the void that exists between the bench and bedside. This practice and study program provides scholars with the skills and opportunities to allow them to make fundamental contributions to medical science that may impact generations to come. These capabilities will be acquired in a very brief two years, with a competitive stipend provided with an intent that the scholar will remain clinically active in his/her field of medicine.

Contact Information:
Scripps Translational Science Institute
Attn: KL2 Master’s Program
3344 North Torrey Pines Court, Suite 300
La Jolla, CA 92037 USA
TEL: 858-554-5706
FAX: 858-546-9272
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STSI KL2 2012 Application

Online Application Form

Applications may also be downloaded from the web site and emailed directly to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .
STSI KL2 Application - 2012

For more information:

Download the STSI MASTERS BROCHURE here.

Current KL2 Scholars