Cheng Wang came to UNC as a Visiting Scholar from China. In this blog post, he reflects on how the year-long training gave him the skills he needed to return to China and land a new job.
As a young researcher focusing on STD/HIV prevention in China, studying at UNC for the past year, which was funded by the D43 training program, has undoubtedly been one of the best learning and training experiences in my life for both personal and professional development.
During this one year, I was so lucky to work with three excellent professors including Michael Hudgens, PhD; Barry Bayus, PhD; and Joseph Tucker, MD, PhD, and other experienced researchers like Katie Mollan, MS, and Gabi Stein on two HIV related studies. One of the two studies examined the generalizability of results of online randomized control trials with inverse probability of sampling weights and G-formula, which concluded that the results of online randomized control trials can be generalized to a larger population of interest. The other was a meta-analysis which intended to explore the application of crowdsourcing methods in the medical and health fields. I am now writing the manuscript about this research.
This yearlong learning experience at UNC was eye-opening and inspiring, and is invaluable in shaping my future career. First, I became familiar with the whole process of doing a study – from literature review, proposal writing, data collection, statistical analysis, manuscript preparation and submission. I gained a better understanding of how to efficiently and effectively conduct a research study. Secondly, the experience of attending many different kinds of seminars and international conferences, and communicating with experienced researchers greatly broadened my academic vision and knowledge of the STD/HIV prevention work.
Thanks to the D43 training program, I will be transferred to a new job when I go back to China that is responsible for all STD control work in Guangdong. Without a doubt, this experience has been the highlight part of my research career. I also want to thank everybody I met during this one year who helped me and became my friend.