MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

11 Core Competencies in Translational Science

Purpose/Goal: to provide didactic and experiential knowledge and skills associated with clinical and translational research.

There is a wide variety of courses offered through both GSBS and the Clinical Research Curriculum at UTHealth and MD Anderson.  This, together with the fact that many of the courses are offered at night, provides a flexible format to allow TL1 trainees the ability to maximize their experience in this program while, importantly, focusing on their research.  These competencies synergize with the discipline-based curriculum of our diverse program structure at GSBS and provide added insight into the translational sciences.

The current list of approved courses for each core competency can be found HERE.

The list of Program-approved courses is ever-evolving, and it can be expanded to include courses from other UTHealth schools and programs.  At present, the available courses are offered by the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School and the Clinical Research Curriculum.


Core Thematic Areas*

1.     Apply relevant biological, epidemiological, and behavioral concepts to clinical and translational research studies.

Clinical and Translational Research Questions

2.     Select the appropriate study design to address a specific health issue.

Study Design

3.     Critically review the scientific literature on a specific topic.

Literature Critique

4.     Apply “big data” collection processes, information technology applications, and computerized storage/retrieval strategies.

Research Implementation

Biomedical Informatics

5.     Apply ethical principles to study design and collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of data and information.

Cultural Diversity

6.     Identify, interpret, and implement relevant laws, regulations, and policies related to specific studies and/or programs.

Sources of Error

Statistical Approaches

Rigor and Reproducibility

7.     Devise an analysis plan (statistical methodology) and analyze data using methods appropriate for the design of the study and type of data.

8.     Communicate concepts, ideas, and findings in scientific terms and form, both orally and in writing.

Scientific Communication

9.     Plan, incorporate, and use appropriate methods for the dissemination and adoption of clinical research findings.

Clinical Research Interactions

10.   Lead an inter-professional research team in all aspects of the project from inception to dissemination of findings.


Translational Team Science

Cross Disciplinary Training

11.   Participate in educational events with community members.

Community Engagement

*Core Thematic Areas are based on the CTSA Core Competencies from the Education Key Function Committee, Core Competencies for Clinical and Translational Research. 2009.