UCSF T32 MSK Training Program

The mission of the UCSF Musculoskeletal (MSK) Training Program is to prepare a diverse community of Ph.D. scientists and M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. residents and fellows for a lifetime of scholarly pursuits that lead to in-depth understanding and improved care of patients with MSK diseases.

Stipends & Benefits

Childcare Benefits for Postdoctoral Scholars

As of Oct. 1, 2023, postdoctoral scholars are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $2,500 per year for qualifying childcare expenses. Eligible dependents include those who are age 12 or under as of the date the expense is incurred and who are living in the postdoctoral scholar's home (includes Foster Care/Adoption and shared custody arrangements).
Learn more about reimbursement requirements and deadlines on the UCSF HR website here.


T32 Scholar Conference Travel Stipend

As part of the T32 program, we have set aside up to $1,000 per scholar to cover travel-related expenses to a conference related to their research. Travel must take place before April 1, 2024. Eligible expenses include hotel, airfare, and incidentals.

Please contact Aaron Fields before booking any conference travel.


Training-related Expense Reimbursement Stipend

As part of the T32 program, we have set aside as needed funds to cover training-related expenses. Eligible expenses include research supplies, equipment, software, and core services.

Please contact Aaron Fields to determine if your expense is reimbursable under this stipend.


T32 Scholar Continuing Education & Tuition Stipend

For trainees that would like additional coursework, we have set aside a $4,694 per person tuition stipend which can be applied towards specific courses across multiple departments at UCSF.
Learn more about examples of eligible courses for the Winter 2024 quarter below. If you are interested in using your stipend next quarter, please contact Aaron Fields.
Design and execution are the first steps of a research project; publishing and disseminating the results are its culmination. The class will introduce all aspects of health research-related writing and communication in the modern age. We will focus on traditional forms of dissemination (i.e., abstracts, posters, presentations and publications) as well as emerging formats.
Rigorous systematic reviews are the gold standard for assessing the effectiveness of clinical and public health interventions. Key systematic review principles and methods can also be applied to other important areas of public health and health care (e.g., prevalence of diseases, qualitative evidence, diagnostic test accuracy). The goal of this course is to provide participants with a grounded theoretical understanding of all major aspects of conducting a high-quality systematic review, focused on the effectiveness of an intervention and exposure to risk factors. Students will develop a brief systematic review protocols (detailed work-plans for systematic reviews). Students will also understand principles of the meta-analysis methods and will have an opportunity to practice on a dataset.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) data can be used for a variety of clinical, epidemiologic and translational research, and these data are becoming more accessible. This course introduces students to concepts, methods, and pitfalls related to the extraction, manipulation and analysis of data from EHRs. The course covers common EHR data structures and vocabularies, using that knowledge to inform research study design, and creation of patient cohorts and analytic extracts. We will cover both ambulatory and inpatient use cases. Students have the opportunity to design their own research projects during the course.
This course provides a foundation for the design of studies that are alternatives to individual participant-level randomization for the evaluation of interventions in real-world settings. An overview of the history of experimental and observational design will set the stage to understand these design variants. For each randomized (e.g., cluster-randomized and stepped-wedge randomized trials) and quasi-experimental design (e.g., pre-post and interrupted time series) presented, students will assess key features, common pitfalls, and possible strategies to improve internal and external validity. Scholars will be also introduced to implications of design decisions for data analysis. Focus will be placed on determining which design is best suited to a range of 'real world' implementation settings.
A common goal of observational clinical or epidemiologic research is to estimate the causal effect of particular exposures or interventions on some health outcome. While causation-oriented research has long been practiced, recent methodologic work has more sharply placed into view what it means and what is needed to estimate causal effects. In particular, there are newer alternatives that may be better than conventional stratification or regression approaches to reduce confounding in observational research. This course will describe more advanced methods that may yield better estmates causal effects than standard approaches.
This course teaches the mathematical foundations of machine learning (ML). Each week, the course surveys a different algorithm to examine its underlying machinery, covering topics such as linear algebra, calculus, and optimization. ML algorithms range from linear models to gradient boosting and deep learning. The course also discusses newer concepts such as model fairness and ML for causal inference. Upon course completion, students should be able to learn new ML algorithms independently.



Workshops & Classes

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Courses

RCR coursework is an NIH requirement. UCSF offers two separate training tracks, one for basic science trainees and another for clinical and translational science trainees to fulfill this requirement.
Trainees in both tracks are strongly encouraged to enroll in BIO 273 - Introduction to Biostatistics and will be required to attend a CCMBM workshop.


Next Offered: Winter/Spring 2025
This course, which will be delivered over two quarters to first year PhD students in the basic sciences, will cover topics related to the responsible conduct of research and rigor and reproducibility. 50% in-person attendance at scheduled lectures and discussions sessions will be expected. Students will review and participate in case study discussions and submit a final written report.


Next Offered: Summer 2024
This online course guides residents and students through the essential components for writing a clinical research protocol, developed around their own clinical research question. Students attend lectures and small group seminars as well as being given the opportunity for an optional peer review session in the last week of the course. The course will cover research questions, hypotheses, specific aims, study types, sample size estimation, power calculations, and data analysis.
Next Offered: Summer 2024
Instruction in identifying and resolving common ethical dilemmas that arise in clinical research, how research is regulated, and misconduct in research.


K-Grant Writing Workshop
Application Deadline: June 2, 2024

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Training Program offers a workshop three times per year for approximately 4-8 UCSF research scholars (fellows or early junior faculty), who are planning to apply for a K-series grant in patient-oriented research. This is a structured set of faculty-facilitated works-in-progress sessions, focused on writing a mentored K-grant, for submission during the upcoming K-cycle due date. Because of the emphasis on training and career development, the K grant requires specific elements that differ from traditional investigator-initiated grants. These additional elements are the emphasis of this workshop.