Introduction to Clinical and Translational Research

An Online Exploration

This exploration is a Georgia CTSA-sponsored, freely available online educational resource. It introduces foundational Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) concepts through written material, videos, interactive graphics, and self-assessments. Specifically, this educational exploration has 7 primary learning objectives:

  1. Identify the features that characterize translational research ecosystems: translational stages, developmental phase, clinical application, data types and collection methods, unit of analysis, and epistemological objectives.
  2. Define the fundamental concepts of precision, accuracy, validity, causality, and types of associations.
  3. Identify the steps from defining a target population to selecting a study sample.
  4. Identify the processes of developing minimal important difference when defining study measures in causal inference CTR.
  5. Describe the reasons for conducting power and sample size calculations in CTR study design.
  6. Recognize the purpose, features, strengths, weaknesses, and optimization of observational study design, and its most commonly utilized styles.
  7. Recognize the purpose, features, strengths, weaknesses, and optimization of experimental study design, and its most commonly utilized styles.

How is it organized?

This exploration is organized into 4 parts that will each take 1-2 hours to complete:

Part 1: Understanding the Translational Science Research Ecosystem

Part 2: Basic Concepts Defining the Analytic Approach to Research

Part 3: Elements of Clinical and Translational Research Studies

Part 4: Clinical and Translational Research Study Design Types

At the end of each part is a 10-question multiple choice assessment meant to reinforce the learning objectives and provide some real world examples of the concepts in the CTR literature.

Who should take this exploration?

There are no pre-requisites for this exploration. This resource is designed to be approachable even for those with no experience in CTR. The intended audience includes:

  • General public interested in increasing their health literature literacy and become more discerning consumers of health science
  • Medical professionals who want to increase their abilities to interpret medical literature
  • Volunteers and employed members of the CTR workforce who want to increase their understanding and participation in their research.
  • Post-doctoral and pre-doctoral trainees considering applying for more formal and comprehensive CTR education and training, such as through the Georgia CTSA’s Certificate Program in Translational Research and Master of Science in Clinical Research.

What will I receive when I complete this exploration?

As this is an exploration meant to introduce concepts and not a formal course, there is no credit or certificate of completion at the end. You will gain a strong foundational understanding to begin interpreting CTR literature and from which you can build additional knowledge and expertise through programs such as Georgia CTSA's  Certificate Program in Translational Research and Master of Science in Clinical Research.

Program Cost

There is no cost to participate in this exploration.  This resource is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award number UL1TR002378. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

If you would like to complete this training program for 6 hours of CE credit, view Clinical Research Professional Courses/Translational Workforce Development (TWD) Catalog. Complete the free one-time registration for this course as well as access to over 70 other free CE offerings for clinical research professionals.

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