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Scientific Management Accelerating Research & Tenure (SMART)

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Program Goals

The SMART program is a new scientific leadership and management nanocourse for junior faculty who are at the early stages of building their own independent basic science or clinical research programs. SMART is designed to help these investigators establish their research brand, manage their teams, avoid pitfalls and navigate the landscape at UTSW and the larger research community nationally and internationally. It will help jumpstart independent research careers of out-of-the gate principal investigators. The SMART course is a 1 1/2 days long and has two modules. An online application can be found here. Please apply early to secure a slot, before we exceed capacity!

Why We Developed SMART For Junior Faculty PIs

UT Southwestern is highly invested in its faculty and offers programs to promote faculty success at multiple levels. At the institutional level, the Office of Faculty Diversity and Development (FDD) and Office of Women’s Careers (OWC) are committed to supporting development of all faculty.

FDD/OWC created the highly successful year-long Leadership Emerging in Academic Departments (LEAD) program in 2012 for clinicians, educators and research-intensive faculty. In 2018, four tenure track LEAD graduates, Drs. Mike Henne, Jenna JewellJen Liou and Vincent Tagliabracci, proposed the creation of the SMART program as part of their LEAD Capstone Projects. Their rationales are based on their own experiences:

  • They recognized that launching a career as an independent investigator in a large academic medical center is exhilarating and also daunting. There are many unwritten rules. They needed new skills in leadership and management to influence others, negotiate and navigate difficult conversation, and set goals for research programs. They wished they had LEAD-like training as early out-of-the-gate junior faculty.
  • Junior faculty will benefit most from a mini-LEAD course customized for those beginning to lead research teams.
  • The skills for leading scientific teams can be learned, as evidenced by the LEADers own growth during their LEAD journey.
  • The need for scientific leadership and management training is affirmed by the increasing number of national and international training programs and guides on the topic (see Selected Literature).
Helen Yin

Helen Yin, Ph.D, Associate Dean of the Office of Women’s Careers, worked with the four LEADers and many other faculty to develop SMART. Dr. Yin directs LEAD and also the Successfully Obtaining an R (SOAR) Grantmanship Program. SMART, together with SOAR, will provide foundational training for junior faculty PIs conducting basic science and clinical research