Supporting Careers in Cystic Fibrosis Clinical Research

A diverse group of talented academic investigators leads the cystic fibrosis research community. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is pleased to support these investigators through a variety of opportunities. 

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Summary
  • Those considering or already engaged in an academic career in CF are encouraged to explore CF Foundation career support programs to help identify service and leadership opportunities or funding mechanisms that align with their professional goals. 
  • Through the Clinical Research Scholars Program Award, a select group of promising early and mid-career investigators are provided protected time to engage with the TDN Coordinating Center in Seattle, where they receive focused training and mentoring in CF multi-center clinical research.
  • Junior members selected to participate on the Data Safety Monitoring Board will receive training and an opportunity to serve on a study Data Monitoring Committee in partnership with experienced committee members.

Clinical investigators are at the core of our progress toward improving the lives of people with cystic fibrosis through clinical and translational research. Clinical investigators advise the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Therapeutics Development Network (TDN) by participating on committees, guiding clinical trials as principal investigators or consultants, leading and serving their local Therapeutics Development Centers, and serving as CF advocates around the world.

The CF Foundation is pleased to continue a long history of supporting investigators through career development and training programs, research funding, and national service or leadership opportunities. We are committed to maintaining and broadening this support to ensure that a qualified pipeline of physicians and physician-scientists can continue to make important advances in CF research.

CF Foundation Career Support Programs

The figure below incorporates many of the Foundation's programs, which begin during specialty training and continue throughout an investigator's career. Those considering or already engaged in an academic career in CF are encouraged to explore these and other programs to help identify service and leadership opportunities or funding mechanisms that align with their professional goals. 

Many of these programs are applicable to investigators from a variety of medical subspecialties (e.g., pulmonology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, nephrology, lung transplant surgery, etc.).

Additional details and policies for most of these programs can be found in Awards and Grants.

If you need more information or have questions about any of the following CF Foundation programs and funding opportunities, please email the Grants and Contracts office at grants@cff.org.

This infographic shows all the career support awards by category: Fellowship Training, Early Stage Investigator, Mid-Stage Investigator, and Established Investigator.
CF Foundation Career Support Awards

New Programs to Support CF Research and Academic Careers

Clinical Research Scholars Program

Through the Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP) Award, a select group of promising early and mid-career investigators are provided protected time to engage with the TDN Coordinating Center in Seattle, where they receive focused training and mentoring in CF multi-center clinical research. This three-year program helps to develop the scholar's individual clinical research project while ensuring a larger pool of qualified investigators for the future. 

Structured training and mentoring include biannual meetings at the TDN Coordinating Center, plus monthly conference calls with mentoring teams from the center's leadership to help supplement the local resources of CRSP participants.

Partnering Senior Study Principal Investigators With Mentored Principal Investigators

Industry sponsors for research trials conducted within the TDN are expected to identify an academic investigator as the overall study principal investigator (PI). The CF Foundation and TDN Coordinating Center strongly encourage these industry sponsors to include a mentored PI to work with and learn from the study PI. This arrangement improves study design, communication with sites, and dissemination of trial results. It also provides important career opportunities for both senior and mid-career investigators, while helping to ensure a larger pool of qualified study PIs for future studies. When necessary, the TDN Coordinating Center can work with sponsors to identify either a study PI or mentored PI who is well-matched for a trial.

Requesting a Letter of Support Online

TDN investigators may need a letter of support from TDN leadership when they are being considered for academic promotion or other career opportunities. Investigators can directly request a letter of support highlighting their contributions within the TDN by logging into CFCRNet and searching for “letter of support” to download and complete the form.

Junior Members Invited to Join the Data Safety Monitoring Board

The Foundation's Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) plays a vital role in promoting the safety and integrity of studies conducted within the TDN. Junior members selected to participate will receive training and an opportunity to serve on a study Data Monitoring Committee in partnership with experienced committee members. Those interested in learning more about this opportunity should email Lynne Quittell, M.D., co-director of the Foundation's DSMB, at lmq1@cumc.columbia.edu.

Career Advice and Networking for Career Development Awardees

The Foundation and TDN Coordinating Center hold a meeting at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) for current recipients of the Harry Shwachman Clinical Investigator and LeRoy Matthews Physician-Scientist awards. Established CF investigators and a select group of prior award recipients participate in this meeting to offer advice and answer questions regarding academic career development. During this time, awardees also have an opportunity to identify and network with colleagues.

The Foundation and TDN Coordinating Center recognize the fundamental role of academic investigators in CF clinical research. Please watch for new initiatives to support academic careers, and email the TDN Coordinating Center at tdncc@seattlechildrens.org with suggestions or questions related to this area of our mission.

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