The Vasculitis Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC) -Vasculitis Foundation (VF) Fellowship Program in Clinical Investigation. The VCRC is an integrated group of academic medical centers, patient support organizations, and clinical research resources dedicated to conducting clinical research in different forms of vasculitis. The VF has partnered with the VCRC since its creation in 2002 to encourage and recruit patients with vasculitis to participate in research and to connect researchers with patients.
The VCRC-VF Fellowship is a mentored training program of up to two years for physician-investigators who have a strong interest in vasculitis and wish to pursue a period of specialized training with an emphasis on clinical and/or translational patient-oriented clinical investigation. The trainee will undertake the Fellowship between 2014-2019 at a VCRC-affiliated site in North America that has an established distinct clinical and research program in vasculitis and availability of senior faculty mentors.
There are two principal goals of the VCRC-VF Fellowship:
- For the Fellow to be involved in the care of enough patients with various forms of vasculitis to develop experience and expertise in the diagnosis and management of patients
- To familiarize trainees with the major unmet research needs in vasculitis, the investigative techniques used in clinical and translational research in vasculitis, and understand how to conduct high-quality clinical research in vasculitis
The eligibility criteria for the VCRC-VF Fellowship are as follows:
- The candidate must be an MD (or equivalent) committed to a career in clinical investigation.
- The candidate must have finished a residency and (preferably) have some sub-specialty training relevant to vasculitis. Candidates from various subspecialty backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
- VCRC Fellowship training will take place after the applicant has completed a formal subspecialty fellowship.
- The candidate must have a training license or full license to practice in the state/province where the Fellowship will take place from the START of the Fellowship/funding period.
- The fellow must be a citizen of the host country or have a valid visa that is acceptable to the host site from the START of the Fellowship/funding period.
- Preference is given to candidates who propose research related to ongoing VCRC projects, but new projects that capitalize upon VCRC resources or augment areas of VCRC emphasis are also acceptable.
Expectations of Awardees:
- VCRC-VF Fellows will devote 100% of his/her professional time on Fellowship-related activities.
- VCRC-VF Fellows will comply with all requirements and guidelines as outlined in this document as well as additional reasonable stipulations or requests from the VCRC Steering Committee.
- VCRC-VF Fellows will provide updates on their careers to the VCRC, upon request, for at least 10 years following completion of the Fellowship and will ensure the VCRC has active and accurate contact information for the Fellows at all times.
There are two tracks available for VCRC-VF Fellows:
- Research/clinical fellow for two years which includes a minimum of two half-days per week in a vasculitis clinic over two years, combined with a research project(s) under the guidance of mentor. Necessary didactic training is required; preference given to those willing to complete a Master's degree or research certification program.
- Clinical fellow for a one year which includes three to four half-days/week of clinical training in vasculitis and includes some didactic curriculum to assist in carrying out research. A research/academic project is expected to be completed in this time frame.
For more information on the VCRC-VF Fellowship Program
Contact either Joyce Kullman, VF Executive Director, or Peter A. Merkel, MD, MPH, VCRC Director.