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J Dent Educ. 2012 Nov;76(11):1408-15.

The summer institute in clinical dental research methods: still going and growing after twenty years.

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University of Washington, School of Dentistry, Box 357475, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


The first Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods, a faculty development program at the University of Washington, was offered in the summer of 1992 for sixteen participants. The primary objective of the program was to give clinical faculty members in dentistry an introduction to and an understanding of the fundamental principles and methods used in good clinical research. In the twentieth offering of the institute in 2011, there were thirty-five participants, and over the twenty institutes, there has been a cumulative total of 463 participants who have come from thirty U.S. states as well as forty-three countries outside the United States. The curriculum has expanded from the initial offering of biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, behavioral research methods, and ethics in clinical research to now include clinical trials, grantsmanship, data analysis, an elective in molecular biology, and a team project that provides participants with hands-on experience in research proposal development as members of an interdisciplinary team. Enrollment has doubled since the first year, yet exit evaluations of the program content have remained consistently high (rated as very good to excellent). One of the indicators of program quality is that at least 50 percent of recent participants indicated that they attended because the program was recommended by colleagues who had attended. There seems to be an ever-increasing pool of dental faculty members who are eager to learn more about clinical research methodology through the institute despite the intensive demands of full-time participation in a six-week program.

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