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Faculty Career Development Series

Career Development Series

The ITHS Career Development Series consist of monthly lectures and workshops designed to provide junior faculty and investigators with tools, a forum for discussion, and learning opportunities to help advance their careers.


Topics are selected based on an annual needs assessment.

Example topics include:

  • How to Write an NIH K Award
  • Making the Most of your Mentor Relationship
  • Mastering Public Speaking as a Researcher
  • Communicating your Findings Visually
  • What really happens in an NIH Study Review

Where can I find a CDS event?

ITHS partners with several UW campus and WWAMI regional partners to ensure we reach and engage the translational workforce with each series. CDS events occur across the main UW campus, in the UW Medicine South Lake Union building, and are often captured on video and edited for online distribution to our regional partners. Many of our offerings are also broadcast live as webinars to allow for flexible viewing opportunities. Check out the calendar for specific upcoming event topics and locations.

Click here to watch past seminar recordings.

Upcoming and Past Events

Creating Engagement: Facilitation from Chaos to Construct @ Online Event
Apr 6 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


This event is the 7th session in the monthly Team Science Seminar Series. In this seminar, we will discuss how to apply learnings from previous sessions in a team meeting environment. We will discuss common challenges that are encountered in meetings and ways to respectfully address these challenges in a safe and encouraging environment.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  1. Apply meeting, conflict, and empathetic listening skills from prior sessions to meeting facilitation.
  2. Apply facilitation skills to common meeting challenges.

Event Materials

[prettyfilelink size="201 KB" src="" type="pdf"]HANDOUT: Facilitation Skills[/prettyfilelink][prettyfilelink size="134 KB" src="" type="pdf"]HANDOUT: 10 Tips to Boost Your Facilitation Skills[/prettyfilelink]

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About the Speaker

Jennifer Sprecher is Director of Strategy Development and Deployment with the UWJennifer Sprecher School of Nursing. Ms. Sprecher works with organizations to achieve excellence through Strategy development, Lean Project Management, balanced scorecards, change management, benchmarking, team problem solving, team and leadership coaching.

Ms. Sprecher is a strong team facilitator, called upon to facilitate high-level teams where interaction and reaching objectives are critical. Sample facilitations include strategic planning, building collaborations, designing and developing new services, products and processes, implementing process improvements, implementing research studies and creating new research centers. She has worked extensively in the past few years within the arena of team science and applying team concepts to innovative development and research teams.

Before the UW School of Nursing, Ms. Sprecher focused exclusively on health research in the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, also within the University of WA. Prior to the UW, she spent 7 years as Executive Director of the Washington State Quality Award (WSQA), a Baldrige-based non-profit organization. With a background in Industrial Engineering, Ms. Sprecher has been working with process improvement for over 25 years using continuous process improvement methods including Lean, Lean-Sigma, Plan Do Check Act and 6S (5S workplace organization combined with Safety) and Total Quality Management.

Ms. Sprecher has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, a Master’s of Science in Management Systems, is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an International Coaching Federation ACC certified Leadership Coach.


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Multiple-PI Collaborative Grant Applications @ Online Event
Apr 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


This event is the eighth session in the monthly Team Science Seminar Series. This session will focus on collaborative research projects between academic investigators and community organizations. We will briefly describe growth trends in collaborative biomedical research projects supported by grants and introduce opportunities for academic-community collaborative grant pilot funding through the ITHS. The session will feature a panel discussion with a team of collaborators from the University of Washington and Mother Africa, a Seattle community organization, who together recently received an ITHS Academic Community Partnership Award.

The 10-session Team Science Seminar Series has been developed to cultivate the next generation of translational team scientists and leaders through Team Science education, training, and leadership development. Participation in this series will support the acquisition of individual team science competencies that will help guide and shape current and future collaborations and relationships across disciplines.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand local and national trends and opportunities for collaborative biomedical research projects supported by grants.
  2. Understand how academic investigators and community organizations can identify opportunities for collaborative biomedical research projects.
  3. Describe the steps needed to initiate, design and execute a successful academic-community partnership for biomedical research.

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About the Speakers

Dr. Wendy Stone is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the UW READi Lab. She conducted research in early detection and intervention of autism for over 30 years, on topics that include: (1) identifying early markers and developmental processes associated with diverse outcomes in infants at high familial risk for autism; (2) evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of autism-specialized interventions in clinical and community settings; and (3) developing community models for expediting access to early screening and specialized intervention for toddlers with autism features. Dr. Stone has received federal funding for her research since 1993, and has authored numerous scientific papers on the early identification, assessment, treatment, and follow-up of young children with autism. Her research with young children led to the development of the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT) and a book for parents entitled, Does My Child Have Autism? She serves on the editorial board of Autism Research and has participated in numerous work groups and review panels for NIH and autism foundations. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Autism Advisory Panel for Sesame Street’s Autism Initiative, contributing to the development of Julia, the new Muppet with autism. Dr. Stone is committed to translational science and enhancing knowledge and service capacity within community settings.

Shana Attar, MS, is a doctoral student in UW’s clinical psychology program. Shana’s primary interest is the development of culturally-sensitive autism screening frameworks for use in community settings with families from diverse backgrounds. This screening work has been funded by an F31/NRSA Fellowship awarded by the NIMH and by a Tier 1 pilot grant from the Population Health Initiative. Shana is also interested in improving the accessibility and cultural relevance of early autism diagnostic and care services and pathways. In her work, Shana strives to incorporate community-based participatory research strategies to foster reciprocal relationships between community organizations and academic institutions. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Fathia Hammad was born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan, and graduated from Khartoum university of Economic and Social Studies. She joined Mother Africa staff in 2015 as a family advocate, interpreter and then community leader to support communities in their daily needs. In 2017, Fathia became SAFARI case manager and was able to connect African and Middle Eastern communities to the services and resources and helped them to navigate the US system. Fathia is passionate about serving children and parents so that made her took Early Learning classes and qualify her to become program coordinator for Developmental Screening Program. Fathia’s biggest goal is helping African and Middle Eastern children to reach their highest potential and succeed in the school. Fathia’s passion about serving children and parents lead her to take Early Learning classes which qualified her to become a coordinator for Developmental Screening Program at Mother Africa. Fathia also works with the Coalition of Refugees from Burma in Leadership Early Learning Access Program as a Home visitor who provide support to Sudanese parents and their children. Fathia is a sociable person, loves to dance, and loves to spend time with her family and friends.

Carol Gicheru was born and raised in Kenya. She holds a BA in Social Communication and Media Studies from The Catholic University of Eastern Africa. She has also attended some graduate classes in Communication Leadership at The University of Washington. While doing an internship at UNICEF Kenya, she discovered her passion of working in the nonprofit world, particularly working directly with women and children in rural Kenya. After moving to America, she joined Mother Africa as a volunteer soon after serving in the role of the case manager for both the SAFARI Program and The Resilient Women’s Group. As of 2019, she has been working as the Senior Program Coordinator for Best4Babies. She currently works with parents who speak English, Maimai, French, Arabic, Dari and Swahili. Her goal is to make sure that every client that we work with at Mother Africa, especially immigrants and/or refugees, feel confident enough to integrate and flourish in their lives in the US while still maintaining their unique cultural identities. She hopes to complete a Graduate Degree in the near future. When she is not working, Carol enjoys reading works of fiction (currently obsessing with works by African authors), blogging, Twitter, cooking and watching K-Dramas.

Paul Martin, MD, is a co-Principal Investigator Emeritus of the Institute of Translational Heath Sciences (ITHS) and served as the Medical Director of Clinical Research Support for the Fred Hutch Clinical Trials Office, from 2011 to 2017. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch and a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine at the UW. Dr. Martin has more than 40 years of experience with hematopoietic cell transplantation at Fred Hutch, focusing on acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). He has contributed to the field through several large retrospective studies of GVHD as well as prospective clinical trials for treatment or prevention of chronic GVHD.  Dr. Martin serves as Director of the Pilot Program for the ITHS.

Erin Blakeney, PhD, RN, is co-lead of the UW ITHS Team Science Core and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics at the UW School of Nursing.  Dr. Blakeney’s program of research focuses on how teams work together and how their teamwork influences the production of new knowledge and translation of research into practice along the entire classroom to bench to bedside spectrum. She has nearly 15 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating team approaches to interdisciplinary education, healthcare, and research.


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How to Write a K-Award Application to Maximize Funding @ Online Event
Jun 15 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm


Thinking about applying for a K award? Wondering how to put together the most competitive application? NIH Research Career Development Awards (K awards) promote career development and provide support for senior postdoctoral fellows or faculty-level candidates. In this ITHS event, Drs. John Amory and Christy McKinney, current Directors of the ITHS KL2 program, will provide an overview of the different types of K awards, and will discuss how to write competitive K award applications. They will leverage their many years of leading the ITHS KL2 review committees to provide practical tips and advice. This event will cover a range of topics, including: whether a K award is for you; types of K awards; components of K applications; K award writing strategies; and NIH and reviewer expectations.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Select the K award mechanism for their circumstances
  2. Develop a detailed career development section and research plan
  3. Write a mentorship plan

Schedule of Activities

12:00-12:10pm – Welcome, Overview, Introductions
12:10-1:25pm – Presentation, Interactivity, Q&A
1:25-1:30pm – Thank You and Feedback Survey

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About the Speakers

Christy McKinney, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Craniofacial Medicine, Pediatrics in the School of Medicine and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Oral Health Sciences, School of Dentistry. She is an epidemiologist and principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. McKinney is co-PI of the NIH-funded the ITHS KL2 program and co-PI of an NIH-funded training grant based in Ghana.

John K. Amory MD, MPH, MSc, is a Northwest native who received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his MD degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine. Additionally, he has earned both a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutics from the University of Washington. He is currently a Professor of Medicine and Section Head of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center where he works as an attending physician on the inpatient medicine wards and in the General Internal Medicine and Men’s Health Clinics. Dr. Amory has published more than 175 peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the area of male reproductive health. His work focuses on the development of novel male contraceptives and improved treatments for men with infertility and hypogonadism. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Josie, and sons William and Thomas.


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