All CCQTP fellows are required to take the following
- Cancer Care Quality (HPM 766). This course examines the quality of cancer care in the United States and introduces
students to the concepts, theories, and methods of measuring and improving
cancer care quality.
- Informed Decision-Making in Cancer Care (INLS 890).
examines clinical decision-making in cancer care from the perspectives of
providers, patients, and families. The course is predicated on the notion that
cancer care quality depends on productive interactions between prepared,
proactive practice teams and informed, activated patients and families.
- Disseminating Evidence and Innovation in Cancer Care
(HPM 767). This course introduces the concepts, theories,
and methods of disseminating and implementing evidence-based interventions to
improve quality in cancer care. The course also examines the methods for
conducting rigorous research on dissemination and implementation.
- Developing Proposals for Health Services and Policy Research (HPM 872).
This course examines the NIH research review process and outlines some basic
principles about how to conceptualize and write fundable research proposals
within the investigator-initiated (R01) framework. Students apply these
grant-writing principles to produce a research proposal in NIH, CMS, or AHRQ
format. Alternatively, program participants can take a grant-writing seminar in
their home department (e.g., NUTR 371 or EPID 201).
fellows are encouraged to take Cancer Pathobiology (PATH 225) and Cancer
Epidemiology (EPID 770). Clinicians with prior training in oncology may
substitute additional coursework in research methods or health services for the
required courses in cancer pathobiology and cancer epidemiology. Trainees must
include proposals for course substitution in their training plans, and must
seek approval from their mentors.
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Other Required Curriculum Components
In addition to these required courses, the program's
specialized curriculum includes other, less formally structured education,
training, and professional development components.
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Optional Curriculum Components
- Multidisciplinary Conferences and Tumor Board Meetings.
In their first year of training, trainees must attend at least two
multidisciplinary conferences and tumor board meetings per month at the UNC Clinical
and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive
At these conferences and tumor boards, current issues and developments in
treatment and care management are discussed. Care planning and coordination for
specific patients, and clinical trial eligibility and participation are also
discussed. In the second semester, trainees must present a mock-case to their
primary mentor in which they describe quality problem in a hypothetical
patient's cancer care and then discuss the clinical, psycho-social, and
organizational factors that might have contributed to the problem.
- Simulated Peer Review of Research Proposals. Post-doctoral fellows must prepare a grant proposal in PHS398 format and
submit that proposal for simulated peer review. The program will arrange for a
primary and secondary reviewer for each proposal, drawn from program faculty
and (if necessary) outside experts. Primary and secondary reviewers will
prepare written reviews, and discussion will ensue in a format modeled on an
NIH study section. Simulated peer review sessions will typically occur in the
Trainees are encouraged to attend other seminars and
lectures sponsored by the various departments, schools, and centers
participating in the program. UNC-Chapel Hill offers a wealth of opportunity
for trainees to explore and deepen their knowledge about cancer care quality
and research methods.
Trainees are also encouraged to take short-courses and
workshops to enhance their methodological and professional skills. The Odum
Institute for Research in Social Science, for example, offers many short
courses throughout the academic year. Course offerings cover grant writing and
proposal development, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, spatial
analysis methods, and survey research. Likewise, the Health Sciences Library
offers workshops in database searching, bibliographic formatting programs,
scholarly publishing, and poster presentations.
Finally, trainees are encouraged to take additional
coursework in specific content areas or research methods as appropriate, based
on input from their mentors. For example, trainees with prior training in
oncology may substitute additional coursework in research methods or health
services for the required courses in cancer pathobiology and cancer
epidemiology. Trainees must include proposals for course substitution in their
training plans, and must seek approval from their mentors.
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Under the direction of his or her mentoring
team, each trainee develops and
conducts research in cancer care quality.
Mentored Research Experience
For pre-doctoral trainees, the major research project
is the dissertation. However, pre-doctoral program participants will likely
participate in other cancer care quality research projects as well. The highly
collaborative, productive, and multidisciplinary cancer research community that
exists at UNC-Chapel Hill will provide pre-doctoral program participants with
many opportunities to become engaged in ongoing cancer care quality research
projects. By the end of the mentored research experience, the pre-doctoral
trainee will have completed a doctoral dissertation.
For post-doctoral trainees, the major research
project is a self-initiated one in which he or she serves as principal
investigator. The post-doctoral trainee is expected to build a
multi-disciplinary team of investigators to support his or her research project.
However, he or she will have primary responsibility for all aspects of the
project from research question formulation, hypothesis development, study
design, data collection/extraction, data analysis, and scientific communication
of study findings. The post-doctoral program participant will work closely with
this mentoring team to ensure the success of the project. By the end of the
mentored research experience, the post-doctoral trainee will have completed a
major research project in which he or she served as principal investigator.
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