CU Anschutz Center for COMBAT Research 

COMBAT Scholar Program

Summary

Center for COMBAT Research logoThe CU Anschutz Center for COMBAT Research is administratively housed within the Department of Emergency Medicine and partners closely with the Departments of Emergency Medicine, Surgery, and Anesthesiology. The Center provides expert consultation to physicians, basic scientists, and academic and military leaders. The Center guides, designs, and executes acute care research to fulfill the needs of the U.S. Military, including solutions in combat casualty care, critical and emergency care, surgical trauma, and acute mental health. 

The COMBAT Scholar Program (Program) is designed to promote and foster a collaborative research environment on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The Program aligns with the UCHealth mission to improve lives by providing high-quality, evidence-based care that continuously adapts and innovates to meet patient needs in a fast-paced, ever-changing healthcare environment. The Program identifies research as a pivotal component of clinical practice excellence, emphasizing U.S. military partnership and research impacting the warfighter and combat medic.

The Program provides CU Anschutz students and fellows (medical, nursing, PhD, etc…) the opportunity to be a part of something larger than themselves. Students interested in pertinent military research will address clinically-relevant practice problems through rigorous academic methodology in a supportive, highly-mentored environment. The yearlong obligation (renewable annually for up to three [3] academic years based on the project) allows students to actively engage in military-relevant research (design, conduct, publish). The Program seeks highly motivated, productive, and focused innovators aiming to change medical practice through scholarship and research to improve the lives of our nation’s warriors and translates to civilian practice. The Program provides mentorship and guidance on research hypothesis development, methodology, and scientific writing/presentation skills toward completion of the study/project. The expectation is that the student will develop and submit an abstract(s) for publication in a military or civilian journal or conference. 

Purpose

The Program’s mission is to advance the professional development of students/fellows with an interest in U.S. military-relevant research through mentorship and guidance in a collegial, collaborative environment.

Objectives

The primary objective of the Program is to recruit talented, high-performing student-scientists, broaden their experience with military-relevant research, and train the leading clinician-researchers of tomorrow. The Program will:

  • Provide exposure to DoD research opportunities/grants/requirements/structure
  • Cultivate the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully conduct research
  • Facilitate networking with military and CU Anschutz principal investigators and researchers
  • Support multi- and interdisciplinary research to address military practice and/or outcomes prioritized by CU Anschutz Center for COMBAT Research and UCHealth leadership
  • Promote a research-friendly environment focused on developing scientific knowledge and data-driven clinical solutions

Program Overview

The Program is a 1-3 year program for CU Anschutz students to develop, conduct, and disseminate military-relevant research. COMBAT Scholars (Scholars) will receive regular guidance from a mentorship team. Scholars will participate in multiple research roles, including project lead or as a team member on a study.

A pilot Program commenced in the spring semester of 2020 with two (2) Scholars. Each Scholar will have a strong interest in military healthcare and/or a military background.

Scholar Expectations/Key Outcome Measures: 

  • Highly engaged member of the Center for COMBAT Research team
  • Desire to rapidly progress through the project/study 
  • Display ownership and independence
  • Innate ability to identify the problem or question and formulate a hypothesis or specific aims
  • Eagerness to work collaboratively and effectively with a mentor/mentor team
  • Ability to critically review and analyze literature 
  • Ability to think outside the box, identify innovative solutions, think creatively, and act decisively to great effect in a dynamic environment
  • Integrity, positive attitude, persistence, and excellent communication skills
  • Ability to synthesize, distill, and concisely present the results of a project/study
  • Ability to use the scientific method to test a hypothesis in clinical or translational research
  • Disseminate research findings (posters, oral presentations) internally at CU Anschutz and externally at local, regional, or national civilian and military conferences
  • Submit a manuscript for publication of the completed study/project to a peer-reviewed journal
  • Strong drive to be a part of something larger than oneself, to make a positive impact

The eligibility criteria for the Program are: 

  • Meets or exceeds clinical performance appraisal in the last review period
  • Agrees to, completes, and submits the COMBAT Scholar Commitment Agreement
  • Access to a computer with video/audio capabilities and MS Office Suite software/equivalent
  • Practice interest in Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, or Surgery preferred 
  • Strong interest in military healthcare or a military background 

Application Guidelines

Competitive Scholar vacancy applications will be publicized through CU Anschutz Center for COMBAT Research website, summer activities fair, Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), College of Nursing, and other CU sources. Incomplete applications (missing documents, signatures) will be declined. Applications will be submitted to the Center for COMBAT Deputy Director (kathleen.flarity@cuanschutz.edu) three times a year; Nov 1st, March 1st, July 1st (two-week open application) with a start date of Jan 1st, May 1st, and Sept 1st. Up to two (2) scholars will be accepted each calendar year (maximum of eight (8) total in program at any one time).   

Application components with supporting documents or instructions include: 


Component Supporting Documents/Instructions
1. Contact Information First and last name; e-mail address; preferred telephone number
2. Practice Interest Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Surgery, other
3. Resume/CV Current copy of resume/CV
4. Summary of Interest in the COMBAT Scholar

Explain your interest in the COMBAT Scholar Program (limit of 200 words)

  • Overview of your experience with research, quality improvement, and/or program evaluation including your roles and responsibilities with each project
  • Explain your area of research interest, as well as research idea(s) and military background

Selection Committee

The Program Selection Committee will consist of two (2) members of the Center for COMBAT Research, and one (1) member of the Center for COMBAT Research Executive Committee or a COMBAT investigator. The Center for COMBAT Research administrative assistant will collect and forward applications to the Selection Committee for evaluation and scoring. 

Selection Criteria

The Program Selection Committee will review all complete applications and evaluate for eligibility and scholarship criteria. Personal interviews may be requested by the Selection Committee. 

Mentorship Team

Each Scholar will be aligned with a primary mentor. A team-based mentorship approach will be implemented to assist the Scholar in successful completion of the study/project. The team may consist of CU Anschutz Center for COMBAT Research members, COMBAT Executive Committee members, CU Anschutz leaders, Principal Investigators, or U.S. military stakeholders. 

Scholar Program Oversight

The Director, Deputy Director and the Program Manager of the Center for COMBAT Research will provide oversight for the Program. Additionally, the Center for COMBAT Research Deputy Director will collect data to evaluate the success and sustainability of the program, including (but not limited to):

  • Program Evaluations (annually) 
  • Number of projects completed by Scholars: 
    • Publications in peer reviewed journal
    • Abstracts submitted/accepted
    • Research funding (extramural)

Meet our COMBAT Scholars

Picture of John Hesling

John Hesling, MD
Program Class of 2023
COMBAT Scholar 2020-2021

Picture of Matt Paulson

Matt Paulson, MD
Program Class of 2023
COMBAT Scholar 2019-2021

Picture of Michael Klausner

Michael Klausner, MD
Program Class of 2021
COMBAT Scholar 2020-2021