The overall goals of the Rochester Partnership to Advance Research and Academic Careers in Deaf Scholars are: a) to provide highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) with the knowledge and skills to pursue research and teaching careers in academia; and b) to partner the faculty and programs of the University of Rochester (UR), including its National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) and Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), with those of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), including its National Technical Institute fo the Deaf (NTID), with the long term objective of promoting linkages between the partners and strengthening their excellence in research and education. The program has four specific aims: 1) To develop a mentored postdoctoral research experience for D/HH biomedical and behavioral PhD Scholars at the UR, a research-intensive institution. To do this, we will leverage the well-developed Mentor-Scholar Program established by the UR CTSI, to provide interdisciplinary team mentoring and to define and meet career development goals for each Scholar, as set forth in their Individual Development Plan. We will also take advantage of the CTSI's novel Mentor the Mentor Program, and will enhance this program to increase the D/HH cultural competency of UR faculty, and their ability to effectively mentor D/HH Scholars; 2) To establish career development activities at UR and a mentored practicum teaching experience at NTID/RIT to develop the academic and teaching skills of program Scholars, and to strengthen and expand educational offerings at RIT in the areas of biomedical and behavioral science; 3) To evaluate program success, by measuring the effectiveness of training in both research and teaching. This will include assessment of short-term objectives and acquired competencies related to teaching and research skills, knowledge and attitudes; and evaluation of long-term career development and academic performance outcomes related to teaching and research. We will also measure the impact of the program on: the diversity of science educational offerings at RIT; entry by D/HH students into biomedically-related and behavioral science majors and programs at RIT; research collaborations between RIT and UR; and 4) To recruit 3 Scholars from a national pool of D/HH persons with biomedical and behavioral doctorates for 3-year periods of training, for a steady state of 9 D/HH Scholars at any one time. This recruitment will build on prior experience of recruiting D/HH postdoctoral fellows to UR, NTID's leadership role in the national networks that promote postsecondary education and career development in D/HH students, and the global reputation of Rochester, NY as a center for D/HH culture and education. This innovative inter-institutional partnership is the first of its kind in the world an will begin to address the dearth of D/HH faculty at academic institutions serving both hearing and D/HH students. A long-term outcome will be the attraction of more D/HH Scholars into careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, fields in which D/HH persons are greatly under-represented.
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) persons are a linguistic and cultural minority group strikingly underrepresented among biomedical and behavioral scientists. This partnership between a research intensive University and a University with a tradition of postsecondary education of D/HH students will develop a model program to develop both research expertise and educational skills in D/HH postdoctoral scholars in preparation for successful academic careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences. As such, it will be the first program of its kind in the world that addresses the dearth of D/HH faculty in our current academic workforce.
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