Clinical Investigator Program

The Clinical Investigator Program is designed to provide a combined research and clinical training stream for residents in Internal Medicine or a subspecialty of Internal Medicine at UBC. The aim is to encourage young physicians to pursue careers as clinician-scientists and to renew the clinical academic faculty at UBC and other Canadian medical schools.

This aim will be accomplished by providing clinical trainees at least two years of protected research fellowship time. The UBC CIP follows the guidelines of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and is approved by the RCPSC.

Residents in all divisions within the Department of Medicine are eligible to apply for the Clinical Investigator Program. Candidates will be nominated by their prospective research supervisor and the Departments' CIP Committee will rank the candidates for advancement to the Faculty CIP Committee, which has the ultimate responsibility for approval of UBC CIP candidates from all departments. The department CIP committee will also work with trainees and supervisors to make their application more competitive.

Residents can apply for the CIP at anytime during their training, including at the time of initial application to the internal medicine or specialty training program. Candidates are encouraged to apply early so that the research portion of their training can be woven into the clinical program in an optimal fashion.

The research component of the training will normally be done after the clinical training, but flexible scheduling of the two components is possible.

The CIP offers training in a clinical subspecialty, integrated with scientific research training for years. The research component of the program may consist either of studies within graduate school leading to a graduate degree (MSc or PhD), or similar studies not leading to a graduate degree. Although the former is recommended for candidates who don't have a prior PhD, both options are open to all candidates.

The CIP is designed to offer high quality research training in a wide range of disciplines relevant to clinical residents in internal medicine and its subspecialties. Research applicable to the CIP includes basic biomedical research, applied clinical research, health services and health policy research, medical informatics and population health.

The research component of the CIP may be satisfied within the Experimental Medicine Graduate Program, within another graduate program at UBC or, with permission of the CIP Director, at an external research institution. The graduate programs at UBC which have agreed to participate include: Anatomy, Health Care and Epidemiology, Medical Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Physiology and Zoology.

The research component of the CIP will be supervised by a primary supervisor and a supervisory committee. The supervisory committee must consist of at least three faculty members at the Assistant Professor level or higher. At least one of the members of the Supervisory Committee must a) be a member of the Department of Medicine, b) be a member of Graduate Faculty, c) hold peer-reviewed funding, d) represent the involved residency training program.

Research supervisors must have an appointment in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC and will normally have peer-reviewed operating funding (or external verification of current research productivity of high scientific standard). The supervisors must have the facilities and materials available to them to allow the trainee to carry out the proposed research program.

The clinical component of the Program is identical to the RCPSC approved residency training program in the specific discipline with the exception that, with the approval of the department and division head, one year may be used for research training. Thus, the CIP adds a minimum of one year to the residency training. During the two year research training, no more than 20% of a regular work week may be spent on clinical work, unless it is an integral part of the research. However, candidates are encouraged to take advantage of ongoing attending rounds, research-in-progress rounds, academic clinical events and academic half-day sessions.

The research component of the CIP consists of two parts:

  1. Course work and supervised original research. The course work will be assigned by the candidate’s CIP Supervisory Committee with consideration of the candidate's previous academic credits. For graduate students, the policies of the host graduate department will apply. For candidates not seeking a graduate degree, the minimum requirement is nine UBC course credits or equivalent. In either case, the candidate's complete academic record must contain evidence of formal education in general scientific principles and specific background knowledge related to the research project.
  2. The original research will usually consist of a project related to the supervisor's research program. For graduate students, the rules of the Faculty of Graduate Studies apply. For other candidates the preparation, submission and acceptance of at least one paper to a peer-reviewed journal listed in Medline and with an impact factor greater than 1.0 will be acceptable in lieu of a thesis. This work will be presented at a national or international conference as well as to the faculty of the sponsoring division. During their last year of training as an exercise in research design and grant writing, all candidates will also write a standard CIHR grant application, which will be reviewed by the Supervisory Committee.

The Supervisory Committee will, after examination of all prerequisites, recommend a "final exam" or thesis defense. For graduate students, the rules of the Faculty of Graduate Studies apply. For other candidates, the exam will take the form of an oral presentation of the completed research to the faculty of the involved department/division; the candidate will be expected to respond to questions concerning the research at this session. The Supervisory Committee will vote on acceptance, rejection, or a three-month deferral before an additional exam.

Funding for the research component will be obtained by a combination of CIP salaries, external fellowships/scholarships, divisional practice plans and/or assistantships from operating grants. Candidates will be expected to apply for at least two external salary support awards as early as possible in their program.

Potential candidates should apply to the Department of Medicine CIP Committee. The Committee will review the applications (see below for application content), will work proactively with the candidates and their supervisors to improve the applications, and will approve applications for forwarding to the Faculty CIP Committee. The Faculty CIP Committee will provide a peer review of the submitted applications by the standing members of the Committee assisted by other experts and will make recommendations for funding priority to the Associate Deans of Postgraduate Education.

  1. A completed CIHR training and CIHR Common CV modules for the trainee and a complete CIHR Common CV module for the supervisors(s). A UBC format CV will be an acceptable alternative for the supervisor provided it contains all the information in a CIHR CV module. This information must include a title and summary of the proposed research and an outline of the facilities and resources available for the candidate. At least two candidate assessment forms should be submitted but transcripts are not required.
  2. Name, address, phone, fax and e-mail address of candidate, supervisor and residency program director.
  3. Date of entry into residency program.
  4. A list of proposed supervisory committee, and any other faculty or scientists who will be integral to the research team or collaborate with the team.
  5. The identity of two external funding sources to which the candidate has applied or is expected to apply.
  6. A summary of the research support of the supervisor and/or supervisory committee members when appropriate. (If not in the CV module.)
  7. A short description of the research resources available for the study including; including lab space, databases, equipment, computers, as well as desk and/or lab space for the candidate.
  8. A schedule for regular meetings with supervisors and Supervisory Committee and a projection of which national or international meetings will be attended.
  9. Identification of the graduate program in which the candidate is registered or intends to register.

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