Welcome to Crohn’s and Colitis Perspectives on ReachMD. The following program is produced in collaboration with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association. Here’s Dr. Sid Singh, Clinical Gastroenterologist at UC San Diego, California, sharing his insights on how to start a career in clinical research.
I think first is knowing what you foresee being part of your day-to-day practice. And while that is very important, you need to recognize that research takes time. Statistics is not just finding a P value and going with that part; it’s actually figuring out what is my study design, what are the factors that will influence the outcome, the results, where am I biasing myself. So learning through that process is important. Think through a study when you are reading a paper. Think through all the policies, the paper, where things could have been improved, and how can I do it better. So design an idea study, then back into what is feasible for me, what are my limitations, and then move forward from there.
I think seeking out your peers, people who have been in the same process, going through the same thing getting help from them along the way is very important.
If you want to focus on research, you need a team and you need money to support it. So grants are an important process within that. The other thing that is important to know about grants is that grants will get grants. Start small. One advice that one of my mentors gave me is don’t be too rushed; stack these awards and be very well prepared. Any new position that you’re taking, if it’s going to be clinical research focused, make sure you negotiate at least 50% if you’re doing clinical research, probably longer if you’re doing bench research, and then keep building on those grants.
It’s a learning process. It’s an iterative process. You hear from so many successful people, and their grants have been rejected on multiple occasions. Grant-writing is a whole different beast.
There are multiple sources of funding that you can reach out to. There’s the NIH, from a clinical research perspective there’s AHRQ, PCORI, there’s pharmaceutical, and there are a lot of foundations, so make sure that we are exploring all of those options. And it’s a great time to use a lot of techniques and there’s a lot of big data, a lot of computational biology techniques. All of those things are going to come together and we’re going to actually make a difference.
That was Dr. Sid Singh from UC San Diego. This program was produced in collaboration with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association. If you missed any part of this discussion, or to find others in this series, visit ReachMD.com/foundation, where you can be part of the knowledge.