Training and Research Academy for Clinical and Translational Science (TRACTS)

Are you a clinician interested in navigating your academic career?

The Training and Research Academy for Clinical and Translational Science (TRACTS) is a training program for early career faculty who have an interest in pursuing clinical/ translational research as a major component of their careers. The goal of TRACTS is to prepare clinicians for an expanded role in health sciences, including further research career development. TRACTS is designed to have a small footprint on clinical schedules.

Program overview

Faheem Guirgis, MD
“I didn’t realize it but I probably wanted to be a researcher all along.’’ Faheem Guirgis, MD, previous TRACTS participant

TRACTS consists of three components aimed at balancing the demands of clinical and academic pursuits:

  • Didactics
  • Mentor identification
  • Individual and group career support

TRACTS also provides the following resources:

  • Travel support
  • CTSI statistical consultation
  • Participation in K College
  • CTSI research studios


TRACTS participants enter the program with a variety of research interests but are often new to UF.  After one or more interviews with TRACTS staff, they will identify potential mentors from faculty within the Health Science Center as well as relevant academic units.

About the TRACTS model

The TRACTS model represents a significant change to a long-standing program formerly known as the Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation (APPCI), which was originally supported through the NIH Clinical Research Curriculum Award (K30) program from 1999-2009. Under the CTSI since 2009, the program was refocused, reconfigured and renamed in 2014 as TRACTS targeted specifically to research-oriented junior faculty with high potential for a productive clinical/ translational research career.


  • Candidates must be faculty with a full-time appointment within a UF department or a fellow or post-doc who plans to pursue a full-time faculty position upon completion of training.
  • Candidates must have completed their health professions doctoral degree (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., O.D., D.C., Pharm.D.)
  • Candidates with PhD or another doctoral degree in a clinical discipline such as clinical psychology, nursing, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology or rehabilitation are also eligible.


Although US citizenship is not required, the candidate must be able to demonstrate that he/she will be eligible for US career development grants at the time of completion of the program.

Individuals on student visas are not eligible.

Former PD/PIs on NIH research project (R01), program project (P01), center grants, FIRST Awards (R29), sub-projects of program project (P01) or center grants, other career development awards (K–awards), or the equivalent are not eligible.

Program requirements

  • GMS7093 Introduction to Clinical and Translational Research (2-credits): an intensive course offered each weekday afternoon in July
  • GMS6865 Quantitative Literacy for Translational Research (2-credits): a once-weekly seminar taught in the late afternoons
  • Participate in once-monthly TRACTS meetings
  • Ongoing relationship with a research mentor identified by TRACTS and the participant

Admission information

Discuss participation in TRACTS with academic supervisor

Successful candidates will be those identified by their departments as future translational researchers.

Because TRACTS does not provide salary support, the time demands of the program are minimal. However, long-term success requires that some portion of time be dedicated towards mentored research. Thus, the participant and his/her department need to negotiate protected research time.

Contact our team for an interview

Once candidates obtain supervisory support, they need to contact Maria Gavidia (, TRACTS program coordinator, to arrange an interview with TRACTS director Ron Shorr, MD, MS.

Admission to TRACTS is based on the interview with specific attention paid to how focused the candidate’s research interests are. In addition, Dr. Shorr may discuss the candidate’s career trajectory with relevant supervisors to assure concordance. One or more interviews may be required. More developed research ideas lead to better mentor identification and a higher probability of long-term success.

Contact information and directors

Ron Shorr, PhD, MD, MS

Ron Shorr
Ron Shorr, PhD, MD, MS, professor of epidemiology, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine, and director of the Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center

TRACTS Program Director

Professor of epidemiology, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine, and director of the Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center


Dr. Shorr has a long track record and passion for mentoring and has been engaged in physician academic development programs at UF since his arrival in 2007.

  • Undergraduate | Duke University
  • Medical school | Ohio State University
  • Training | Medicine and geriatrics, University of Wisconsin and William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
  • Masters | Epidemiology, Case Western Reserve University
  • Fellowship | Pharmacoepidemiology, Vanderbilt University

Research interests

  • Dr. Shorr has extensive experience conducting both observational and experimental studies on healthcare safety and quality, particularly in older adult populations.

Maria Gavidia, MA

TRACTS Program Coordinator

  • (352) 294-8340