Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program (K12)

Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program (K12)

The extraordinary growth and specialization of the sciences over the past several decades has made it increasingly difficult to link the divide between clinical and basic science components of ophthalmic and vision sciences. The less-than-optimal degree of cross-talk between scientists engaged in studying fundamental biological processes and clinicians providing care to patients has had multiple deleterious effects. Continued external factors are expected to impact this trend negatively in the foreseeable future.

Traditional approaches, based purely on didactic curricula, to “teach” basic sciences to highly-trained clinicians are only variably effective as they offer limited opportunity to these clinicians for hands-on experience in designing and conducting studies. Additionally, many clinicians engaged in pure clinical (vs. bench-based) research have had very limited formal training in methodological aspects of clinical study design and execution. To address these needs, the K12 Program is seeking to recruit and train clinician scientists as detailed below.

About the Program

Harvard Ophthalmology is one of the leading and largest academic departments of Ophthalmology in the nation and a major recipient of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. With nearly 190 full-time clinical and basic science faculty, Harvard Ophthalmology continues to make significant contributions to ophthalmic and vision research in virtually all basic, applied, and clinical subspecialty areas.

The Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program (K12) offers a customized and structured learning, research, and development experience to a select group of qualified clinically-trained candidates who have recently completed (or are about to complete) their training and who desire to become independent leading clinical scientists in their respective fields.

What to Expect

You will complete a core curriculum that includes the Harvard Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE) – a summer-long immersion program in biostatistics, epidemiology, study design, and outcomes measurement – and the Harvard Medical School HBTM 305qc “Molecular Bases of Eye Disease” survey course, which focuses on the biological mechanisms (genetics, immunology, neuroscience, vascular biology) of eye disease. 

You will also perform research in an actively mentored program, under the guidance of Harvard Ophthalmology faculty who are leaders in their respective fields, with the express objective of developing into independent investigators;

And you will have the option of seeking an advanced degree (MS, MPH, PhD, ScD) at Harvard University.

This program is funded by the National Institutes of Health. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women & minorities are encouraged to apply.

Positions are available throughout the Harvard Ophthalmology system for July 1 of the next academic year based on grant funding. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a subspecialty/fellowship-trained, board-certified/eligible ophthalmologists or optometrists
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have Resident Alien status (Green Card)
  • Must be willing to commit 75% of time to structured research (up to 25% clinical work) 
  • The duration of commitment will be 2-3 years, based on your interests and nature of the mentored training program

Apply Today

Applications are due by November 15, 2021.

Requirements include: 

  1. Completed application: Contact Erica Eaton at 617-912-2627 or erica_eaton@meei.harvard.edu for an application. 
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Letter of intent: describe how this mechanism will further your career in vision science
  4. Detailed scientific proposal (2-3 pages) that includes:
    * Background and gaps in knowledge and/or technology that you intend to address
    * Hypothesis, related specific aims, and methods
    * Discussion of innovative aspects of your proposal
    * Discussion of feasibility
  5. Three letters of recommendation (emailed or mailed separately)

If accepted into the program, you are expected to identify a mentor (or mentors) within the Harvard faculty or MIT community and contact them to discuss a potential mentor relationship. For a complete list of mentors, please email Erica Eaton.