The UCLA/South African Trauma Training Research (Phodiso) Program seeks five additional years of funding to prepare future investigators to conduct research on trauma exposure and injury prevention in the context of South Africa's high levels of interpersonal and community violence and intentional injuries. The Phodiso Program is an international collaboration between UCLA and the South African Research Consortium (SARC), which includes the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), North-West University (NWU), and University of Cape Town (UCT) and is based on three NIH-funded projects: 1) The Eban Project, a randomized clinical trial testing a culturally congruent intervention for HIV serodiscordant African American couples (R01;2001-2011);2) The Aftermath of Rape Among South African Women (The Fulufhelo Project), a study examining the short and long-term psychosocial sequelae of rape among South African women (R03;2009-2012);and 3) The HIV/AIDS Translational Training Program (HATT) for racial and ethnic minority postdoctoral Scholars and early career investigators interested in studying HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance abuse and associated co-morbid disparities (R25;2009-2011). Guided by ecological and social learning theories, the focus of the Phodiso Scholar's research will be to minimize the negative health and mental health effects of trauma exposure, specifically depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in South Africa. Developed over the past five years, our multidisciplinary training program proposes to expand to investigate and train on biologic and genetic markers and mediators of stress and thus, to be a more comprehensive biobehavioral trauma training program. During the initial funding period, eight scholars were trained and will now compose the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). For this renewal, the UCLA and SARC core faculty and TAG will conduct a countrywide application process to select one early career research candidates per year for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. Scholars will receive research mentorship including a quarter of study (i.e., a 3-month period) at UCLA, one selection and planning meeting and one short-term trauma workshop each year in South Africa. Scholars will conduct their own research projects in South Africa as a basis for future studies in this field, as well as work closely with their SARC host university and TAG mentors. The Phodiso Trauma Training program and the research careers of the scholars will be tracked over time. Specifically, the sustainability of the training program and integration into academic, private, and government-supported agencies and the Scholar's ability to establish and sustain independent research careers will be evaluated and documented. Future goals will include encouraging the South African government to support, endorse and adopt the Phodiso program as a successful and replicable model of cross-cultural trauma research training.
The UCLA/South African Trauma Training Research (Phodiso) Program seeks five additional years of funding to prepare future investigators to conduct research on trauma and injury exposure in the context of South Africa's high levels of interpersonal and community violence and intentional injuries. As an international collaboration between UCLA and the South African Research Consortium (SARC), which includes the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), North-West University (NWU), and University of Cape Town (UCT), Phodiso's public health mission is to: 1) Increase the number of well-trained South African trauma researchers;2) Translate research findings to culturally congruent trauma and injury prevention and treatment programs and;3) Facilitate building of community capacity and infrastructure that benefit the people of South Africa.
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