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For Trainees

Chicago KUH FORWARD offers many unique resources and opportunities to help trainees become successful and develop research and professional skills that will aid them in becoming a successful scientist.

 Professional Development

Chicago KUH FORWARD is committed to advancing the professional skills of trainees necessary for a successful career in KUH research. We have created a professional development program that augments the cross-disciplinary mentorship and hands-on research experiences of our trainees and uses an active learner model that leverages both faculty-to-trainee and peer-to-peer interactions.

Professional Development Seminars

Conducted in small groups, these monthly seminars are trainee-led and optimize peer-to-peer interactions across all training levels. Seminars aim to increase trainees’ discipline-specific and interdisciplinary knowledge and expand their skills in various areas such as:

  • Project, personnel, and resource management
  • Written and oral science communication
  • Grant writing
  • Team science
  • Technology innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Mentor training for trainees

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

IDP is a powerful tool to assist trainees with their research, career and personal development. We use the IDP to identify trainees’ strengths and areas in need of further development and guide trainees toward program activities that will be most important for progressing toward their individualized plan.

Research in Progress

Research in Progress allows trainees to share what they are currently working on with the greater Chicago KUH FORWARD scientific community. Trainees share their current research and receive feedback from a cross-disciplinary audience. Additionally, Research in Progress helps trainees practice their scientific communication and acquire the necessary skills to present ongoing work and improve their speaking skills. Research in Progress talks are held virtually on the second Friday of every other month at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (alternates months with Interdisciplinary Journal Club).

Interdisciplinary Journal Club

Interdisciplinary Journal Club brings together KUH researchers of varying levels to discuss recently published literature to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge. Sessions are led by a pair of trainees who select and present the paper and gain experience critiquing and appraising research. The Interdisciplinary Journal Club takes place on the second Friday of every other month at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (alternates months with Research in Progress). The sessions are held virtually and are open to the Chicago KUH FORWARD research community.

Grant Writing Groups

Grant writing groups are tailored for our predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees applying to fellowships (e.g., NIH F31 or F32) and career development awards (e.g., NIH K Awards).  One of the most complicated skills an early-stage scientist must develop is the ability to come up with and effectively present proposals to obtain funding for their research. Led by Rick McGee, PhD, Professor of Medical Education and Associate Dean for Professional Development at Northwestern University, these dedicated writing groups allow trainees to get real-time feedback to help refine their writing and master their writing skills more effectively. 

Other Professional Development Resources

 Networking Lunches for Peer Mentoring and Coaching

KUH trainees at similar career stages come together over informal lunches to explore, discuss and learn about career advancement strategies, internal and external networking, problem solving, balancing professional/personal roles, and leadership development.

These forums are facilitated by faculty trained in the coaching approach to mentoring that is centered on active listening, powerful questioning, creating awareness, and designing action. A specific emphasis will be placed on helping trainees to create support teams they can rely on for information, advice and perspective.

 RCR, Rigor & Reproducibility, and Sex as a Biological Variable

Responsible Conduct of Research

NIH requires that all trainees receiving support from our TL1 training program must receive instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR),  NOT-OD-10-019. Chicago KUH FORWARD trainees should familiarize themselves with their institution’s RCR training programs to become RCR compliant within the first year of their appointment.

Rigor & Reproducibility Training

NIH developed four video modules with accompanying discussion materials that focus on integral components of reproducibility and rigor in the research endeavor, such as bias, blinding and exclusion criteria. These are not comprehensive training modules. They may serve as a foundation upon which to build further education, training and discussion.

Statistically Speaking Seminars provided by the Northwestern University Biostatistics Collaboration Center offer additional resources for training in rigor and reproducibility.

Watch the recording of IPHAM's past webinar, entitled The Epidemiology of Preventable Analytic Errors, delivered by Leah J. Welty, PhD; Director, Biostatistics Collaboration Center Professor; Department of Preventive Medicine - Biostatistics; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

NIH Training on Sex as a Biological Variable

NIH developed e-learning courses give users a thorough and up-to-date understanding of sex and gender influences on health and disease and NIH requirements on factoring sex as a biological variable into research designs.  


Chicago KUH FORWARD is dedicated to ensuring the well-being and success of trainees throughout their research training. We encourage trainees to prioritize their own well-being thereby facilitating a strong and thriving research training community. See the Raising a Resilient Scientist Series through the Office of Intramural Training & Education at NIH.

 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Chicago KUH FORWARD and its TL1 program are committed to identifying and implementing ways to create and support a diverse and inclusive campus community. Scholars from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems.

 Scholarly Impact

All scholars must cite the U2C and TL1 grants on any publications that result from research done while appointed as a trainee in the Chicago KUH FORWARD training program. Please use the following citation:

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U2CDK129917 and TL1DK132769. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

  • Link your publication to the U2C and TL1 awards in PubMed
  • Complete and update MyNCBI

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