Master’s Degree in Clinical Research Program Begins at UL in 2020

Master’s Degree in Clinical Research Program Begins at UL in 2020


The 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic highlighted the need for health care infrastructure and research capacity in Liberia. To address this need, the University of Liberia and the University of California, San Francisco, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, are offering a training program to:

  • Train outstanding Liberian scholars in clinical/ epidemiological research by enrolling them into the UCSF Master’s in Clinical Research (MCR) Degree Program; and
  • Support graduated trainees to pursue their research careers in Liberia and to begin to teach others.

The MCR program at UCSF has successfully developed skills of young clinical investigators for the last 20 years, including trainees from lower and middle-income countries, nearly 90% of whom have gone onto successful research careers.  MCR graduates have become research leaders in universities, public health departments, foundations, and industry.  The MCR Program features coursework coupled with mentored practical research experience.  Following completion of the MCR Program, scholars will return to Liberia where they will perform research in a mentored environment.  The ultimate goal is for Liberian scholars to achieve independence in research.

Who should apply

Those with committed interest in pursuing a career in clinical research and ideally with some experience in research.

Description of

Training Program

The MCR Program is a two-year course of study at UCSF.  Following completion of this degree, an opportunity also exists for an exceptional MCR graduate to pursue a PhD.

The UCSF MCR program focuses on training in clinical, epidemiological, and translational research.  It provides an opportunity to study at UCSF’s renowned health sciences campus alongside experienced investigators. The 19-month program involves course work, small group sessions, individual mentoring, and the development, implementation and presentation of a research project. The program focuses on providing fundamental and advanced skills in research study design, measurement, field implementation, biostatistical analysis, translational science, publication and presentation of research. Faculty have both theoretical and practical expertise. The program provides graduates with essential tools for understanding causes of disease and for identifying effective and efficient approaches to prevention and treatment.  More on the UCSF MCR program found at: masters.html


For the time in San Francisco, full scholarship will be provided including tuition, housing, and travel.  After return to Liberia, salary support will be provided for a mentored research experience. The program is supported by the Fogarty International Center, U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Degree Program Requirements

  • Scholars are required to reside in San Francisco for 10 months in Year 1 and 9 months in Year 2. The program begins in July 2020.
  • Successful completion of at least 36 units of course work
  • Comprehensive literature review in the scholar’s field
  • Presentation of original research at a national or international scientific meeting
  • Publication in a peer-reviewed scientific report or biomedical journal

Mentored Research for Graduates

  • Graduates will be supported for 2 years following completion of the MCR program to pursue their careers by conducting research in Liberia, with mentorship from experienced Liberian scientists, UCSF faculty, and other experts.  A 3rd year of support may be possible for outstanding performers.

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Those with an advanced health-related degree (e.g., MD, MS, MPH, or PhD) will be given preference.
  • Three references
  • Significant knowledge and/or experience in health-related field, and/or previous experience in biomedical, clinical, laboratory or public health research
  • Commitment to future research career in Liberia
  • Strong oral and communication skills and strong basic math skills
  • Facility with basic computer software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet) and use of internet

Application Process

The following is required:

  • A cover letter summarizing your background and why you are interested in this program;
  • A detailed curriculum vitae (CV); and
  • Names of 3 references who will write on your behalf regarding your qualifications for this program and potential for success in a career in clinical research

Send inquiries and all completed applications, including reference letters, to:

Dr. Joseph Sieka

0886689381/ 0777000980

  • Deadline for receipt of applications: January 13, 2020
  • Successful applicants will be notified in March 2020

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