To submit an MTM project, read through the following guidelines, then submit a Capstone Project Proposal.
Please contact Moose O’Donnell, the MTM Executive Director, with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines for Project Clients – 2017-18
The UC Berkeley – UCSF Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) program provides students with in-depth training in the pathways that take research discoveries from the lab toward active clinical care. The centerpiece of the curriculum is a nine month capstone project conducted under the guidance of a mentor. We invite you to submit your potential project to act as a project advisor for an MTM team in the coming year.
During the MTM program, students take classes and develop skills across the translational process, including technical engineering aspects, general business leadership, healthcare finance, intellectual property, clinical trials, and FDA regulations. Student work in many classes is directly related to their capstone project. The MTM program seeks projects at various stages of the translational process – from pre-prototype, early prototype and business development to collecting pre-clinical data to preparing for interactions with regulators – which provide students with exposure to the entire range of skills required for successful medical innovation.
Student efforts may include technical engineering development such as producing prototypes, understanding clinical or market needs, regulatory, validation, or business development such as participating in scientific method for entrepreneurship classes (e.g., Lean Launchpad). The students come to the MTM with a variety of backgrounds, including engineering (primarily bioengineering, biomedical engineering, or materials science), life science (including biology and neuroscience), and business. A number of MTM students have clinical backgrounds, including MD and RN. While many successful projects involve medical devices, we are interested in diverse opportunities including therapeutic, diagnostic, or digital health that provide students with the experience of moving new ideas into practice in a clinical setting.
Anatomy of a Successful MTM capstone
- Project engages a range of skills and seeks to hit varied milestones (e.g., technical development alongside planning path to market and regulatory strategy).
- Teams receive regular opportunities for mentorship and advice, such as general lab meetings and one-on-one meetings. Ideally, teams have active mentor contact (in person, or by phone, email, or teleconference) on a weekly basis. The mentorship team should include broad and deep expertise to guide students towards their deliverables.
- The project should provide sufficient resources – such as equipment, workspace, and funding – such that students make reasonable progress throughout the year.
- Students must be able to discuss their work, including intellectual property (IP) issues, in the context of classes and in a final symposium.
Application Process and Timeline
The MTM program runs from mid-August of 2017 through mid-June of 2018. During this time, students are expected to work ~10-15 hours per week in the early stages (through December) ramping up to 20+ hours per week in the spring. The program culminates in a symposium in mid-June at which all capstone teams present the outcome of their year of effort.
Project proposals are vetted by the MTM leadership to ensure they contain elements needed for successful student learning. During this process, the MTM program may reach out to proposing teams for clarification of their plan or to request improvements.
Selected project descriptions are shared with students at the beginning of the program. In late August, teams will present their projects to the students, with opportunity for discussion. Following all the presentations, students will rank their interest in each project. Mentors will have an opportunity to comment on the resumes of the students who are interested in working with them, highlighting the skills the value most highly. Final teams of 2-4 students will be established by the MTM program in mid-September, and will be ready to begin work immediately.
A Project Proposal consists of
- A cover sheet (use template on following page)
- Project Narrative (1-2 pages)
- Description of clinical issue to be addressed
- Outline of the solution the team will pursue
- Current status of effort (including any preliminary results or outcomes)
- Resources available for the project (such as workspace, funding, partnerships)
- Mentorship Plan
- Describe how mentors intend to interact with the students, such as type of work environment (laboratory, company, or team working on their own), frequency of lab meetings, and availability of personnel. As appropriate, describe project management plans.
- Work plan (including milestones expected in the coming year)
- Desired skill sets in capstone team
- References or background reading (optional)
Please direct all questions and submissions to the MTM Executive Director:
Michael “Moose” O’Donnell
Project proposals will be treated in a confidential manner, but will be shared with members of the MTM faculty. Additionally, proposals that are selected will be shared with the MTM students.
MTM students come from various academic backgrounds. Many enter the program directly from undergrad, while others have significant (5+ yrs) industry experience. Many have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, while some others have a life science background. A few hold additional professional degrees (MD, MBA, etc.). The best projects draw on multiple skill sets.
Although proposals must be structured for a single year of activity (~9 months of project work), many project teams continue for multiple years with different teams of students focussing on different goals.
Students are self funded for tuition, and are not required to receive wages for project work. However, the project client is expected to provide all materials and resources necessary to complete the project. This will likely include access to client’s facilities if the project is largely technical and hands-on.
The project client is expected to provide appropriate personnel to train, manage, and mentor the students in the project. Each project client should consider these students as project interns who will need an appropriate level of guidance. Regular meetings (preferably weekly) with the project client or an appropriate substitute are essential.
A UC faculty member will be attached to any project originating from a client outside the UC system. The UC faculty member will provide a link between the University and the sponsoring institution, and will be available to provide general academic support for the students and programmatic guidance for the project client.
Project clients must consider potential confidentiality or IP issues when designing projects. Confidential data can be appropriately excluded or masked in presentations and reports, as requested by the project client, so long as the students are not prevented from achieving their class requirements (including a final presentation to a broad audience). Non-disclosure agreements can be employed as necessary. The Program Directors are happy to discuss any concerns at any point during the project process.
*The above info is not binding and is subject to change.