TB RESEARCH AND MENTORSHIP PROGRAM (TB RAMP)

Tuberculosis (TB) has surpassed HIV as the number one infectious cause of death worldwide. Momentum for tackling TB is increasing globally, with political commitments indicated at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting in 2018, and a new research and development roadmap delineated in the NIAID Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research.  In order to meet the nation’s and global needs for conducting innovative biomedical, clinical, and epidemiologic research in TB, a significant enhancement of educational, training and mentorship opportunities focused specifically on TB is needed.  UCSF and its affiliates have the diverse expertise and strengths in TB training and research to provide such opportunities. 

The TB Research And Mentorship Program (TB RAMP) is an integrated program of creative educational, training, and mentoring activities with a focus on research skills development, provision of research opportunities and experiences, and sustained mentoring activities.  The TB RAMP Program is led by Co-PIs, Elizabeth Fair, PhD, MPH and Payam Nahid, MD, MPH.

The program is designed to prepare early-stage investigators (fellows, postdocs, and junior faculty) from UCSF and UC Berkeley for successful careers in TB research.  Through this research education program focused on TB, we promote and catalyze collaborations between existing faculty across disciplines (infectious diseases, pulmonary medicine, experimental medicine, systems biology, genomics, immunology, health economics, pharmacy, nursing, implementation sciences, diplomacy and policy, global health, etc.); attract and cultivate early-stage investigators in the TB field; and strengthen TB research expertise both at UCSF and UC Berkeley.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

The TB RAMP Program is designed to engage scholars over 2 years, with TB RAMP Scholars dedicating ~4 hours/week to engage with faculty, refine their research ideas, and gain skills for launching independent research careers.  Core components are designed to foster collaborative, transdisciplinary approach to studying TB, including:

  • Individual tailored research and career mentoring in TB from highly regarded UC investigators
  • Participation in bi-weekly UCSF Center for Tuberculosis research seminars with rotating schedule of didactic sessions, works in progress, journal clubs
  • Professional skill development focused on grant and manuscript writing
  • Leadership opportunities and networking within the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis and through the annual World TB Day Symposium
  • Stipends to promote research activities
  • Opportunity to compete for “Mentored Scientist Award in Tuberculosis” hosted by the UCSF Center for TB, via the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP) mechanism

TB RAMP SCHOLAR ELIGIBILITY

  • Fellows, post-docs, or junior faculty (assistant professor level) from UCSF or UC Berkeley
  • Evidence of commitment to TB research or promising early-stage investigators seeking to transition career focus to TB
  • Ability to dedicate ~4 hours per week on TB RAMP research or mentoring activities
  • Existing institutional commitment of salary support.  TB RAMP provides educational and research stipends, but it is expected that applicants to this program have an existing position at UCSF or UC Berkeley
  • Per NIH policy, all TB RAMP awards and/or stipends are restricted to US citizens, non-citizen nationals or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time an offer of an award is made. 
  • Applications accepted bi-annually for two-year engagement in the TB RAMP program

HOW TO APPLY:

Please email a single pdf to [email protected] including:

  • Current NIH-style Biosketch
  • Summary of your TB research work and interests (500 words max)
  • Description about why you want to be a TB RAMP Scholar, including names of potential mentors (200 words max)
  • 2 letters of reference from faculty who can speak to your interest/work in TB (sent separately)

TIMELINE

  • Applications open January 30, 2021
  • Applications due April 5, 2021 by 2:00pm
  • Decisions announced May 2021
  • Matriculation June 1, 2021

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs):

What does it mean to be TB RAMP Scholar?
TB RAMP Scholars will work with the program directors to be matched with a research mentor; receive didactic research and methods training; individualized career development; research and networking opportunities; and a chance to compete for TB research funding via the UCSF RAP mechanism. 

Who are the TB RAMP Mentors?
See link to UCSF Center for Tuberculosis faculty profiles.

How am I matched with a mentor?
In the admissions process you will be asked to name mentors you would be excited to work with and why.  The program directors will work closely with you to complete this final matching, based on shared interests and faculty availability.

What do I gain from being a TB RAMP Scholar?
As a TB RAMP Scholar, you will gain a network of peers as well as across all levels of multidisciplinary faculty dedicated to TB.  You will be part of a close TB research community across UCSF and UC Berkeley.  You will participate in regular research meetings and faculty fireside chats hosted by the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis, monthly Professional Development Workshops, and an annual research symposium.  You will receive support in developing your independent research questions and portfolio, and have the opportunity to apply for TB specific funding mechanisms.

Can I apply for a Mentored Scientist Award in Tuberculosis through RAP and also apply to be a TB RAMP Scholar?
Yes, there are two ways into the TB RAMP Program.  You can apply to become a TB RAMP Scholar (first round of application are due April 5, 2021).  You can also apply for a “Mentored Scientist in Tuberculosis” Award through the UCSF RAP mechanism.  If you receive research funds through this RAP award you will automatically be admitted into the TB RAMP program.

What is the length of the program and the time commitment?
The length of the program is two years, with a time commitment of approximately 4 hours per week.

How frequent are trainings/didactics held?
The TB RAMP Mentoring Program hosts bi-weekly TB Research Meetings and Faculty Fireside Chats, conducts a monthly Professional Development Workshop Series and an annual Mentee Scientific Symposium nested within the Annual World TB Day Symposium that draws a wide multidisciplinary audience. 

If TB is only one aspect of my work, am I still eligible to apply?
TB RAMP is committed to supporting Scholars dedicated to TB research as their primary focus. TB should be the majority of work of the Scholar.

If I applied for the Mentored Scientist Award in TB through the RAP mechanism, do I also need to send a separate application to the TB RAMP Scholar program?
No, if you have applied for the Mentored Scientist Award in TB through RAP we will automatically consider you for the TB RAMP Scholar program within that same application cycle (Fall/Spring).


Program Contact:  
Should you have any questions regarding the TB RAMP Program or submission of materials, please contact: [email protected]

 

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