PCCTSDP provides value added to the training of pediatric critical care scientists by acting in a complementary manner to the local institution. Activities of value to the PCCTSDP Scholar include the following:
- Assistance with original application, by the Program Director
- Interviews and interactions with National Advisory Committee members
- Assistance with preparation of extramural grant proposals
- Site visits of Phase I Scholar training institutions to verify training environment
- Participation at the annual PCCTSDP retreat
Assistance with Original Application
Applicants may contact the Program Director, who can provide assistance in contacting potential mentors, and provide helpful input into career development ideas and research proposals. The Program Director will not assist with writing applications, but can provide helpful advice to applicants because she does not play a role in selection of PCCTSDP Scholars. Selection of Scholars is the responsibility of the National Advisory Committee.
Interviews and Interactions
Interaction with the leaders and outstanding scientists who comprise the National Advisory Committee is a major benefit to participants in the PCCTSDP. These interactions include interviews of applicants during the selection process, scientific interaction at the annual retreat, discussion of the applicants’ and Scholars’ academic and research development plans, and presentation of selected faculty development topics by committee faculty and guest speakers. In addition, the committee may convey expectations to each applicant and Scholar, particularly with respect to the timeline for seeking the next level of research funding.
Preparation of Extramural Grant Proposals
Phase I scholars will begin early preparation of K08 or K23 proposals for submission to the NIH. The PCCTSDP will help provide structure to this timeline by interactions between the National Advisory Committee and the Scholar, both at the annual retreat and throughout the year. Phase I Scholars should write a two to three page draft outline of a K08 or K23 proposal or, in rare instances, an R01 proposal, by the end of the first 12 to 15 months in the program. This draft may be submitted to the PCCTSDP and then disseminated to National Advisory Committee members for constructive feedback. This activity is optional but highly recommended.
At least eight weeks prior to the NIH submission deadline, the Scholar should send a nearly complete draft of the specific aims, career development and approach sections and the PCCTSDP may do a mock review, providing pink sheets back to the Scholar and mentor in ample time for the Scholar to improve the proposal based on those comments. If the National Advisory Committee does not have appropriate expertise to provide this review, expertise will be solicited. In this manner, the Scholar will have an opportunity to obtain an initial, external, rigorous scientific evaluation for their proposal in time to not waste a cycle in the NIH peer review process. If a Scholar achieves K award funding, then the Scholar will automatically transfer into Phase II.
The Program Director or a designee from the National Advisory Committee will site visit each training institution on an annual basis during Phase I training. During these site visits, the Program Director or National Advisory Committee member will meet with the Scholar, the training mentor, the critical care or surgical Division Chief, and the Pediatric or Surgery Department Chair, depending on the specialty of the Scholar. The Program Director will verify that the institution is meeting its obligations to the Scholar as outlined in the original application submitted by the Scholar.