The overall objective of the proposed career development program is to develop independent OB/GYN physician-researchers in basic, translational and/or clinical areas related to women's reproductive health. Institutional commitment to doing so is historically strong at Wayne State University (WSU), which has resulted in a strong research and training environment that includes the 75,000 sq ft C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth &Development and NIH's Perinatology Research Branch. WSU is a minority-serving institution (African &Arab Americans). Women's Reproductive Health Research Scholars will be appointed, based on recommendations of an Advisory Committee, from a pool of candidates (local and national) who have demonstrated interest and prior experience in research. Members of underrepresented groups will be recruited in proactive partnerships with Meharry Medical College and the Univ. of Puerto Rico in San Juan. Selection criteria have been sharpened by experience gained during the previous two periods of support. Training of Scholars will be individualized based on their past experiences and competences. Three individuals will be enrolled at any one time, with the expectation that a total of six Scholars will be trained. The proposed PI and Research Director are well experienced in research, training and administration. Mentors will be experienced investigators with training track records who have research programs that are broadly relevant to women's reproductive health. These investigators will be complemented by a wide range of contemporary, sophisticated clinical and research resources. There will be six training aims: 1) Provide individualized coursework / lectures / seminars;2) Provide essential ancillary skills and support resources to meet unique needs of each Scholar;3) Provide a critical, mentored research experience that is relevant to each Scholar's long-term research interest;4) Teach each Scholar to write a competitive grant application;5) Proactively network each Scholar with prominent, disciplinarily relevant senior investigators;and 6) Assure that each Scholar is well grounded in the responsible conduct of research. Annual evaluation of the program by an outside evaluator will include objective analysis of both process and outcome. Advisory Committee members will provide oversight and also assess programmatic effectiveness. Scholars will complete their training when they have demonstrably reached research independence, objectively measured by such criteria as ability to compete successfully for independent grant support. Scholars will be tracked after leaving the program. Overall, the training is expected to contribute substantively to the nation's capacity for future conduct of women's health research.
The proposed training is relevant to public health because opportunities for, and support of, career development of Obstetrician Gynecologists is essential for reduction of morbidity and mortality of women throughout their life cycle. Wayne State University provides unique infrastructure, resources, and mentors that will make it a strong contributor to the next generation of clinical and translational researchers for women's reproductive health and, thereby, to the positive clinical outcomes of the diverse, urban female population we serve.
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