Benign urological diseases are a major public health concern. Unfortunately, there are insufficient numbers of well-trained cross-disciplinary researchers focused on these conditions. To overcome this limitation, we propose the development of the Duke KURe (K12 Multidisciplinary Urologic Research) Scholars Program. This program would build upon significant institutional support for benign urological research as well as leverage a pre-existing training program while allowing us to provide in-depth research training to a select group of very promising young investigators focused on benign urological diseases. KURe Scholars will undergo an intensive training experience tailored to their individual needs and goals under the guidance of no less than 3 mentors/scholar - one with clinical disease-related expertise, one with research approach-based expertise, and one with biostatistical expertise. Each team of one scholar and three mentors will be assigned a secondary mentor from the mentor pool. The role of the secondary mentor is to provide additional assistance to the scholar, but also to provide "independent" feedback to the primary mentors to ensure coordination and improve the mentoring of the mentors ("teaching the teachers"). Once assembled, these mentoring teams will meet with the scholar no less than quarterly as an entire team. Each scholar will also meet individually with each mentor at least monthly. Scholars will work on research projects designed by the scholar, but under the supervision and guidance of the mentoring team. This team approach is designed to maximize opportunities for the scholars to develop and improve their research skills (clinical, research, and biostatistical), which will maximize scholar education in terms of research design, peer-reviewed publications and future grant opportunities. In addition, all scholars will participate ina year-long course of didactic classes designed specifically for urological researchers. This course already exists at Duke, under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Freedland, PI/PD of the KURe Scholars Program. Beyond the standard year-long course, trainees will have access to classes throughout Duke University to further enhance their educational needs. Indeed, we anticipate all KURe scholars will partake of these extra training opportunities, with many obtaining graduate degrees (e.g. Masters of Clinical Research). The specific goals of the KURe Scholars Program are to: * To recruit and train the next generation of benign urological researchers * 2. Train the next generation of mentors to future benign urological researchers * 3. Improve the overall level of mentoring among research mentors * 4. Share the successful aspects of our KURe Scholars Program with other institutions across the country Our approach to accomplish these goals is outlined in detail in the application. Though the exact number of KURe funded scholars will vary year-to-year based upon availability of scholars, we anticipate that in an idealized setting, we would have 4 KURe funded scholars: 2 junior faculty (MD or MD/PhD), one post- residency fellow (MD or MD/PhD), and one senior post-doctoral researcher (PhD). The Duke KURe program builds on institutional strengths by providing a large and diverse mentoring pool. Indeed, Duke is ideally positioned to train the next generation of leaders in the field of benign urological research. While the initial funding period for the Duke KURe Scholar Program is for 5 years, we are hopeful that through successfully training urological research scholars and helping they achieve future academic success that we will be able to continue our KURe funding indefinitely.
Benign urological diseases are a major public health concern. Unfortunately, there are insufficient numbers of well-trained cross-disciplinary researchers focused on these conditions. To overcome this limitation, we propose the development of the Duke KURe (K12 Multidisciplinary Urologic Research) Scholars Program. This program would build upon significant institutional support for benign urological research as well as leverage a pre-existing training program while allowing us to provide in-depth research training to a select group of very promising young investigators focused on benign urological diseases to help train the urological research leaders of tomorrow.
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