Duke Externship Opportunities for non-Duke KL2 Scholars

Duke is proud to offer several exchange programs for KL2 scholars from other CTSA institutions. Duke has a number of unique opportunities that will give scholars experience in research activities that will supplement their experience at their home institution.  

(CTSA KL2 Scholars supported by Duke University can find a list of "externship" programs at other CTSA institutions at http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/sctr/other/externships)

Each of the exchange programs at Duke will be overseen by a pre-identified faculty member who will serve as a “host” for a non-Duke scholar. Specific opportunities include:


Coordinating Multi Center Clinical Trials- Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI)

Serving as a clinical trial coordinating center requires substantially different infrastructure and activities than enrolling research participants into clinical research locally. In this exchange program opportunity, scholars will learn about the scientific and operational aspects of managing large multi-center clinical trials by spending time at the DCRI, which, at any given time is coordinating approximately 60 multi-center clinical trials around the world.  Scholars will shadow investigators and project leaders, participate in study team meetings, attend meetings or conference calls with sponsors (both industry and NIH), and observe the creation of multi-million dollar study budgets and operational plans.


Conducting Human Systems Biology Studies – Duke Clinical Research Unit (DCRU)

In this exchange program, scholars will shadow investigators and project leaders conducting first in human, proof-of-concept research.  Scholars will observe sponsor meetings, the start up process, translating study protocols into orders, management of the research portfolio, and study-specific procedures with research volunteers.  The DCRU is a 30-bed state-of-the-art facility with six well equipped examination rooms, a metabolic kitchen, and processing laboratory.


Managing T1 Translational Research – Duke Translational Research Institute (DTRI)

Overcoming the Valley of Death is difficult, but with specific management strategies and technical knowledge, the steps to bring a new discovery to the point of first-in-human testing can be managed. In the DTRI exchange program, scholars will spend time with the investigators, project managers, regulatory staff, and commercialization experts involved in T1 research at Duke.  Scholars will participate in team meetings, observing the creation of strategic management plans to move new technologies along the pipeline.


Practicing Community-Based Research

Scholars in this exchange program will observe the Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis (MURDOCK) study. Set in a small town in rural North Carolina, the MURDOCK study is a 50,000 participant, longitudinal health study working to reclassify health and disease. Scholars will spend one week in Kannapolis, participating in recruitment events, meeting with local health care providers, observing volunteers enrolling in the study, and meeting with investigators who are conducting analyses from the study data.


Research in Minority Health and Health Disparities:  Racial and ethnic disparities in health and healthcare are widely documented across a range of diseases and care settings.  In this externship, scholars will pair with a senior investigator conducting health disparities research based on their interest in a specific discipline, (medicine, OB/GYN, psychiatry, surgery), focus on the translational spectrum (T1 to T4) , or research methodology (observational research, RCT, etc.).  Scholars will attend meetings of studies in progress, interact with study staff, and receive specific feedback on their own project in progress or development. 


In addition to the externship, scholars at institutions in the consortium will have the opportunity to access the Duke CTSA KL2 Health Disparities Research Curriculum.  The goals of the curriculum are to increase knowledge among KL2 Scholars about the impact of racial and ethnic health disparities and to develop the skills needed to conduct research in minority health and health disparities.   The curriculum content will be available on-line for interested scholars.  Each module will include a didactic session and small group activity. 


KL2 scholars supported by CTSAs other than Duke should contact Laura Svetkey, director of Duke's KL2 program, for more information if interested in any of these opportunities.