The University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry (UCBSO) seeks 5 years of support to train clinician-scientists in accordance with the guidelines of the Institutional Clinical Scientist Development Program (K12). The Berkeley Clinical Scientist Development Program will provide interdisciplinary training to enable well-established clinicians to carry out high-level, independent, clinical (patient-based) vision research. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) K12 program will draw upon the rich resources of world-renowned departments and groups on the Berkeley campus, including Vision Science, Optometry, Public Health, Neuroscience, Infectious Disease, Bioengineering, Health and Medical Science, and Molecular &Cell Biology. The Berkeley K12 Program will feature two unique elements: (1) The recruitment of established clinicians who wish to make a career shift from clinical practice and teaching to one centered on the combination of teaching and independent, federally funded, patient-based vision research. (2) The multidisciplinary composition of a distinguished and diverse mentoring group composed of faculty with expertise in vision research, plus faculty whose primary expertise is not in vision, but who have extensive experience in clinical research. The program will provide the awardees with focused, cutting-edge didactic and mentored clinical research training tailored specifically to the individual's career plan. The Berkeley program is designed so that upon completion, the trainees will be able to compete successfully for research resources and maintain a productive and independent career in patient-based vision research.
Over the past 19 years (1990-2009), there has been a substantial reduction in the number of clinically trained. Students entering vision science training programs although faculty teaching/research positions have continued to grow nationally. Consequently, the number of well-trained clinician scientists available to fill these positions has seriously declined.
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