BSHS Selectives 2021-2022
Selectives Type:  Basic Science

Selective Title
Multidisciplinary Translational Research - Basic Science and Humanities Selective
Course Number
ITSU 4402
Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed Year 3 and must obtain the course director's approval and signature on a C Form prior to enrollment.
Responsible Faculty Director:
Judith Aronson, MD
Other Faculty:
Students may choose their own mentor or will be assisted in finding a mentor.
Contact Information
Donna Adams, Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS) Office of Educational Programs, Office 6.118, Research Bldg 6, Route 0342, Phone 772-1932,
Periods Offered
1-13 (excluding Period 11)
including holiday period 8
Maximum Enrollment

Learning Objectives
This course may be a continuation of research done as part of prior research electives.

1.    Participate as a full-time member of the investigative team for the period of the elective, under the guidance of a mentor, who has a clinical or translational research project, novel method project, pilot project, basic science project that has potential for better understanding of human health and disease, or an outcome research project that has potential for improving care of patients with disease.
2.    Discuss the scientific basis of the project in which he or she participates, the ethical and regulatory issues, and the processes that lead to a research project that has translational implications to enhance clinical care or public health.
3.    Identify and attend/participate in relevant research-related meetings, trainings and seminars.

Describe the qualifications background and career goals or interests of students who would benefit from the course:
This multidisciplinary selective course should be of particular interest to students who wish to pursue a career that includes clinical or translational research. Students with research interests in the basic sciences may also benefit from a better understanding of how basic science findings are translated into clinical and public health benefits. Students interested in clinical practice will benefit from a better understanding of how basic science knowledge is translated to humans in a manner that will enhance clinical care or public health.

Description of course activities
Research-centered experience with an established investigator, as a full-time member of a UTMB investigative team, during a 4-week period. Research activities will depend on the interests of the student and the mentor; several activities must be described in the written plan and approved before submission of the C form. Activities may include literature review, study design, preparation of review committee documents to meet federal regulations, training and performing human subject consents, training and using laboratory equipment, assisting in research procedures, epidemiological data collection, or analysis of data. The student will identify and attend/participate in at least 4 relevant trainings and seminars. The student will submit a written report. 1) Students may choose their own mentor, who is a UTMB faculty. Students who are interested in research productivity are strongly encouraged to lengthen research time by utilizing research electives. 2) Following agreement and discussion of activities with the mentor, the student will submit written plan for the selective to mentor, course director, and copied to the ITS Office of Educational Programs, which describes objectives and how they are to be achieved. A sample written plan, with notes is provided in the course syllabus. Please contact the ITS Office of Educational Programs at or to request a course syllabus.

Proposed time requirement (%) for the student activities per 40-hour week:
Activity Percent of Activity
Faculty contact time


Self-directed study


Data collection/analysis


Other 40-hour week; Attendance at meetings and seminars,


Method of student evaluation

Check all that apply - complete appropriate section(s) only:
1.  Grading
A. Please specify your grading criteria for outstanding performance:
  Adequate completion of activities described in the written plan, and submission of an outstanding final report, as judged by the mentor and the Course Director.

2.  Written Assignment (Homework, projects, notes, papers, abstracts, etc.)
A. Frequency of written assignment(s)
  A required written plan at the beginning and a required written report at the end. The student and mentor may elect to include other written assignments, as appropriate for the experience and the particular project. The final written product should be at least 10 pages in length, not including references or figures.
B. Type and format of written assignment
  - A written plan will be prepared by the student, following the provided guidelines, at the beginning of the course. The plan will describe objectives and how they are to be achieved. - A written report will be submitted at the end of the course: approximately 10 pages in length, describing research aims, hypotheses, methods, specific role of the student in the project during the three-week period, and results, if available. The report should make clear how the project contributes to the translation of basic science to improved patient care or public health.
C. Method of content selection (student-selected, assigned, relate to cases, etc.)
  Content will be selected by the student and mentor, with guidance from the Course Director, and described in the written plan at the beginning of the course.

3.  Oral Presentation
  A. Frequency / duration of presentation(s)?
    One oral presentation on research experience/topics is recommended at the end of or during the selective.
  B. Type and format of presentation
    Oral presentation may be in the form of a presentation of research findings and results or a literature review to members of the research group, or participation in a journal club or similar activity.
  D. Assessment - Who assesses the student's presentation performance?
    Self-assessment   Peer assessment   Faculty assessment
  E. Method of content selection
    Student-selected topic   Assigned topic

4.  Professionalism
  What expectations do you have for the student to demonstrate participation in the elective (e.g. small group activities, seminars, thoughtful questions, providing resources, journal club, resident lecture attendance)?

The instructor will discuss principles of appropriate attribution and the referencing of literature with the student. The student is expected to understand and to adhere to the principle that all presented work must be solely the student’s own.

    The student will gain experience in professional behavior in a clinical/translational research setting. The student will identify and attend/participate in at least 4 relevant trainings and seminars.

5.  Other Modes of Evaluation
  Please explain below.
    Other modes of evaluation might be used, and would be described in the initial plan prepared by the student and mentor, or in the final report.