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 EPI 150.03
 Faculty & Staff

Designing Clinical Research (One Month)
EPI 150.03 Summer 2018 (2 units)

Application Deadline: July 16, 2018
  • A two month version of this course (EPI 202) is also available for scholars whose schedules allow for the two month version. The curriculum is the same in the two courses, but the longer duration of EPI 202 allows for achievement of a more complete research proposal for scholars who intend to implement their projects in the coming year. All students in the ATCR Certificate and Master's Degree Programs are required to take the two month version.
  • An online version of this course will be available to a limited number of students on a first come, first served basis. Please note that the time of the online small group session will be announced presently and will be chosen to accommodate the greatest number of interested students. Course fees will be refunded if the time chosen does not fit a studentís schedule. Priority will be given to learners outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.

This course is an introduction to the process of clinical research, defined broadly as patient-oriented, translational, epidemiologic, comparative effectiveness, behavioral, outcomes, or health services research (i.e., any research that has individual human beings or groups of human beings as its unit of observation). Students are exposed to overarching concepts and essential vocabulary for designing and interpreting clinical research. This is primarily accomplished by instructing students in the creation of a research protocol that is intended to address a relevant research question in their specific area of interest.

The objectives for this course are for participants to:

  • acquire skills for designing and interpreting clinical research;
  • produce a complete clinical research protocol, including background, sampling, measurements, and data analysis; and
  • help others in the class to develop these skills and protocols.
  • Possession of at least an undergraduate degree or enrollment in the UCSF Pre-Health Undergraduate Program (PUP) or SF-BUILD program.
  • An idea for a research question in clinical research that has been discussed with an experienced investigator.
  • Proficiency with word processing software, biomedical literature searching with Pubmed, and reference management software (Endnote, RefWorks or other software).

Course Director:

Peter Chin-Hong, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Phone: 415-502-9585
email: peter.chin-hong@ucsf.edu


Miriam Kuppermann, PhD, MPH
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
email: kuppermannm@obgyn.ucsf.edu


Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, MAS
Director, Clinical and Translational Training and Professor, Department of Medicine
email: bibbinsk@medicine.ucsf.edu



Michael A. Kohn, MD, MPP
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
email: michael.kohn@ucsf.edu



Beth Cohen, MD, MAS
Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine
email: beth.cohen@ucsf.edu
  Deborah Grady, MD
Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine
email: deborah.grady@ucsf.edu



Charles McCulloch, PhD
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics
email: charles.mcculloch@ucsf.edu
Online Section Leader:

Angelo Clemenzi-Allen, MD
email: angelo.clemenzi-allen@ucsf.edu

Resident Section Leaders

Samuel Goldman, MD, MPH
email: samuel.goldman@ucsf.edu

Beth Cohen, MD, MA
email: beth.cohen@ucsf.edu

Amy Padula, PhD
email: amy.padula@ucsf.edu

Daniel West, MD
email: daniel.west@ucsf.edu

Jennifer Felder, PhD
email: Jennifer.Felder@ucsf.edu

Non-resident Section Leaders:

Giuseppe Cullaro, MD
email: giuseppe.cullaro@ucsf.edu

Neela Penumarthy, MD
email: neela.penumarthy@ucsf.edu

Brett Ley, MD
email: brett.ley@ucsf.edu

Felicia Chow, MD
email: Felicia.Chow@ucsf.edu

Kala Mehta, DSc, MPH
email: Kala.Metha@ucsf.edu


Both an in-person and online version of the course are offered. The online version will feature the exact materials as the in-person version, with content being delivered through online recordings of the weekly lectures as well as online web conferencing for small group discussion sections. The online version also features the same access to course faculty for discussion and questions as the in-person version.

  1. Lectures: Mondays and Wednesdays: 9:00 to 10:15 AM, August 1 through August 22. Lecture recordings will be online later the same day. To determine if you have sufficient bandwidth to view online lectures, please visit our demonstration site.

  2. Small Group Sections:
    Content: Review of assigned protocol components and discussion of readings and exercises.
    A. In-person Small Group Sections: Mondays and Wednesdays: 10:30 AM to Noon. Begin August 1.
    B. Online: Please note that the time of the online small group session will be announced presently and will be chosen to accommodate the greatest number of interested students. Course fees will be refunded if the time chosen does not fit a studentís schedule. Note: A high-speed internet connection is required.

  3. Final Protocol Review: Protocols are due (via e-mail) by Wednesday, August 23. Student pairs or trios meet with a different faculty member to evaluate their protocols.

All course materials and handouts will be posted on the course's online syllabus.


Designing Clinical Research
by Stephen B. Hulley, MD, MPH et al. Wolters Kluwer. 4th Edition. 2013. UCSF library call number: R853.C55 D47.

Books may be purchased either through the publisher or a variety of commercial venues (e.g., Amazon.com).


Students are expected to attend all lectures/small groups with only ONE excused absence permitted, and students are expected to inform their small group section leaders beforehand about any absence. Participation in small groups, timely completion of reading assignments and problems sets, and final submission of a completed protocol are minimum requirements for a passing grade.

Students not in full-year TICR Programs who satisfactorily pass all course requirements will, upon request, receive a Certificate of Course Completion

UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities


Sessions 1-7

  • Read Designing Clinical Research
  • Complete the exercises
  • Compose parts of your protocol (specific assignments in the syllabus section). Students are asked to bring the first draft of their homework (on paper) to small group section. Revisions can subsequently be emailed to section leaders by MIDNIGHT on that day (deadlines for online sections may be different).

Final Session

  • Finish your protocol and submit by email.
  • Critique one another's protocols in groups of 2 or 3 with a new faculty member.

To apply for this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Please see our fees page for cost information. The deadline for application is July 16, 2018. Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.

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APPLICATION Information for how to pay;
please read before applying