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What does the CRC do for MMeds?

The Clinical Research Centre (CRC) falls under the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). The CRC has been mandated with providing support in the FHS for the research component of the MMed.

1) Our main source of support for MMed students, is the MMed Research Training Workshop, which consists of two days of research teaching – usually on two consecutive Saturdays, or on two consecutive Fridays. See an example agenda for one such a workshop, or download the training manual (12mb) to give you an idea of what we offer. This workshop is repeated in each semester.

2) Additionally, we also offer a workshop for the supervisors of MMed students to attend, called Essentials for the Clinical Research Supervisor. This workshop is also repeated in each semester. Download the training manual here (11mb).

3) Lastly we offer MMed students the opportunity to seek advice on their specific projects from individual members of the CRC team, depending on their questions. We usually limit this ‘free’ consultation to an hour per student, otherwise it would really get out of hand and we would not be able to get to everyone who needs assistance.

The CRC does not charge MMed students, nor their departments, for the above-mentioned support offered.

Note that some departments have made a categorical decision that MMed students are allowed to ‘outsource’ the actual statistical analysis part of their thesis, and then the department is willing to pay for that statistical service. Statistical services can be sought from anywhere, including the Department of Statistical Sciences on Upper Campus or non-UCT service providers. The CRC can perform this service, depending on the availability of our data analyst, but that needs to be assessed on a case by case basis.

The discussion between MMed student and supervisor should be about what components of the project you:

  1. Need advice about, or
  2. Need someone to do for you

E.g. where MMed students have had complicated projects that required complicated databases, they have contracted the CRC to build their database for them. (The fee depends on how long we think it will take us to build it.) Other students have opted to come to the CRC for advice, then go off and build their own databases. If a service is to be rendered by the data analyst, data management team, or any member of the CRC team for that matter, the supervisor/fund holder will have to agree to a rate and total amount to be spent on such service - we usually draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to this effect. After the service is rendered, the supervisor/fund holder then gets invoiced by the CRC.

Remember that there are many free Self-Learning (online) options available as well.