Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health

Enhancing Clinical Translational Research through Training in Digital Practices and Approaches


Dr. Katja Reuter and Dr. Cecilia Patino-Sutton presented the Digital Scholar Program, its latest progress and available resources at the national Workforce Development Domain Taskforce meeting in January 2018

Dr. Katja Reuter, Director of Digital Innovation and Communication, and Dr. Cecilia Patino-Sutton, Director of Workforce Development and Co-Director and the Multi-PI, Mentored Career Development in Clinical Translational Science (MCD-CTS/KL2) Program, were among the presenters of IGNITE projects at the national Workforce Development Domain Taskforce meeting in January 2018. An IGNITE project is an idea to address the challenge of refining and disseminating education and training innovations with other CTSA Hubs. It was requested that members submit ideas that highlight and share one educational resource or approach that has been particularly impactful at their local hubs. Those locally developed innovative education resources that have been demonstrated to have both local value and sustainability are considered for dissemination with other Hubs or even the entire consortium.  

Dr. Reuter and Dr. Patino-Sutton presented the Digital Scholar Program, its latest progress and available resources. The program helps research professionals and students who are involved in the health sciences to develop competency in digital research practices and approaches. The use of digital practices and approaches can potentially increase the quality and efficiency of all phases of the traditional clinical translational research (CTR) process.

Digital Scholar Webpage

Based on a Digital Scholar Pilot Training Series, launched in 2014 at the University of Southern California (USC), the team is now formally exploring the views of key stakeholders – including experts in digital research approaches, clinical translational research (CTR) educators, and trainees – on the need to formalize training in digital practices and approaches among CTR trainees. The specific goals of the qualitative study are to develop an aligned educational framework that defines core competencies, educational methods, and evaluation metrics. The team is in the process of analyzing the results of a qualitative study for which we interviewed 66 stakeholders as described above.

Presentations from other CTSA hubs included:

  • CTSA Educational Innovation (Columbia) – Sophia Li Ferry
  • CTSI 500 Stars Initiative (CTSI of SE-Wisconsin) – Doriel Ward
  • Virtual World Video Game to Teach Team Science Skills (UCSD) – Colin Depp
  • Lilly Making Medicines: The Process of Drug Development online course (Indiana/Eli Lily) – Patricia McGuire
  • KL2 Scholar Exchange Program (Indiana and University of Kentucky) – Patricia McGuire

More information can be found here.