Master of Science in Clinical Research
Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR)
The Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) is designed as a 2 year program that provides an exceptional educational experience to outstanding health professionals, such as clinical / post-doctoral fellows, junior faculty, veterinarians, nurse Ph.D.s, allied health professionals, and other trainees (M.D., M.D./Ph.D., and ‘basic science’ Ph.D. students) with the knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully launch clinical and/or translational research-intensive careers. The MSCR has two main components: 1) graduate courses including biostatistics, epidemiology, research design, data analysis, informatics, bioethics and grant writing (for the complete breakdown & sequence of required courses and elective credits please see our curriculum guide; and 2) a mentored clinical research project leading to a Master’s thesis. The program is designed to be completed in 2 years. However, coursework can be taken over a longer period of time.
The attainment of a MSCR in Clinical Research requires
- Successful completion of coursework
- Satisfactory completion and deposit of thesis
Four tracks/training areas are offered within the MSCR Program:
- Translational Research: Bench to Bedside
- Clinical Trials Research
- Population, Outcomes and Implementation Research
- Molecular Epidemiology
Within the context of these specific tracks, students may choose to develop an area of concentration or focus, developing specific expertise in:
|General Clinical Research||Outcomes Research|
|Health Services Research & Health Policy Research||Ethics|
|Behavioral Research & Cognitive Tools||Genomics & Personalized Medicine|
|Biostatistics: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods||Drug Development|
|Epidemiology: Basic, Molecular and Clinical||Clinical Trials Research|
|Informatics & Bioinformatics||Translational Science|
These areas of special focus build upon strengths reflective of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Mount Sinai’s Institutes and Departments.
Development of Master’s Thesis
Students should work early on with their Program Advisors and identified mentors to select an appropriate research project for their Master’s Thesis. The mentor identified by the student, with whom he/she is working, should complete the Research Agreement form, see Appendix A, indicating willingness to serve as a Master’s Thesis Advisor. This form should be submitted by the student to the Program office no later than 5pm on the Friday of the first week of classes in the fall of the second year of the Masters Program (for MSCR being completed in 2 years), no later than the same date of the third year (if MSCR being completed in 3 years) or no later than September 15th of the Scholarly year if in the PORTAL Program (Please see “PORTAL Thesis Procedure” section for more detailed information). The student is required to submit an outline (maximum of 3 pages) of the proposed thesis along with the Research Agreement form. The outline should include the following sections:
-Statement of purpose
Experience researching and writing a Thesis provides the student with an opportunity to explore and further develop ideas from lessons learned in the classroom, apply them to a specific research endeavor and demonstrate the student’s mastery of the essence of clinical/translational research within a particular area of interest.
All students enrolled in the MSCR are required to complete a Master’s Thesis and must obtain approval of their topic and plan from the Director or Co-Director of the Clinical Research Education Program, or in the case of the MD/MSCR, the Director of the PORTAL program,, Karen Zier, PhD. Please see “PORTAL Thesis Procedure” section for more detailed information.
As part of the application to the MSCR program, the student is required to submit a proposed clinical research proposal. This proposal is anticipated to be further refined and/or revised, with submission of the proposed thesis outline submitted with the Research Agreement form. A first draft of the final thesis should be submitted for review by January 15th of your second year or third year (if MSCR being completed in 3 years) in the program for May graduation, or by January 15th of M4 if in the PORTAL Program.
Timelines for the Masters Thesis AND FORMS
|Second Year or Third Year if MSCR being completed in 3 yrsDegree awarded in May||Second Year or Third Year if MSCR being completed in 3 yrs Degree awarded June 30||Second Year or Third Year if MSCR being completed in 3 yrs Degree awarded September 30||Second Year or Third Year if MSCR being completed in 3 yrs Degree awarded January 30||PORTAL students, Fourth Year of Medical School|
|Register for the Masters Thesis||Fall||Fall||Fall||Fall||Fall of Scholarly year|
|Submit first draft of Thesis||By January 15th||By March 1st||July 15th||November 15th||January 15th of M4|
|Submit final Thesis for review||By March 15th||By May 1st||August 15th||December 15th||March 15th of M4|
|Submit Thesis to the Library||By April 15th||By June 1st||September 15th||January 15th||April 15th of M4|
All students are required to register for their Master’s thesis (course number CLR0001). This is most commonly done at the start of the second year (fall term). Students should register for a minimum of 5 credits but up to 8 credits. However, registration for more than 5 credits requires approval of the Program Director(s).
Once a student has completed the Master’s Thesis, he/she must complete a Master’s Thesis Approval form, which is signed by the thesis advisor and Program Director and submitted to the Program office. Master’s Thesis Approval form (See Appendix A)
At the completion of the Master’s Thesis an evaluation form must be completed by the student’s Master’s Thesis mentor and submitted to the Program Manager. Research Thesis Evaluation Report See Appendix A
When a final draft of the thesis is ready for submission to the Program, a Thesis Deposit form must be completed. Master’s Thesis Deposit Form. See Appendix A. The Thesis Advisor and Student will complete the Master’s Thesis Deposit Form and allocate a total of $2,000 to faculty who significantly contribute to the Student’s thesis project (e.g., Thesis Advisor, Second Reader, Consultant (biostatistician)).
Student should refer to the section on “Graduation Application Form” and “Other Requirements Preceding Conferral of Degree” on page 40 for more information about Graduation.
Once the student has submitted all of the appropriate forms, he/she must deposit the Master’s Thesis by the dates outlined in the table above. Please see Depositing your Master’s thesis guide (Appendix A) for complete details on how to deposit your thesis.
Students have 3 years to finish the Master’s Thesis after completion of all course work; if it is not finished within that timeframe the student will be withdrawn from the Program unless they have prior approval for an extension for special circumstances.
Please note that a student may submit, for their Master’s Thesis, a first author manuscript either submitted for publication, accepted for publication or published during their training which is reflective of their Master’s Thesis work. In this instance, a statement of purpose, introduction, and discussion regarding the findings and impact of the work needs to be added.
Annual Best MSCR Thesis Prize
Each year, prior to graduation, the best MSCR thesis will be selected and awarded a prize for the best thesis, to be presented at the annual graduation awards ceremony. The process for selecting the award recipient will be as follows: 1. Secondary reviewers read the thesis draft and provide feedback. Currently the Program Directors serve as the secondary reviewers. In future academic years, the core faculty for the Clinical research Education Program will serve as the secondary reviewers. 2. Secondary reviewers read the final draft and offer any final corrections. 3. Secondary reviewers will also provide a critique of the thesis utilizing KL2 NIH review format and submit this to the Program Office.4. The highest scoring (utilizing current 1-9 NIH scoring system) thesis will be selected for the Clinical Research Education MSCR Prize