The primary goal of the University of Maryland's proposed BIRCWH program is to continue our already highly successful program designed to foster interdisciplinary research in women's health among junior faculty Scholars through a tailored mentoring experience with a team of senior faculty researchers to bridge the gap between prior specialized training and the incorporation of methods and concepts from several disciplines, leading to independent interdisciplinary research careers. To achieve this goal, we have expanded the existing research theme areas of our current program (i.e. Women's Health and the Brain, The Aging Woman and Conditions Specific to Women) to include Personalized and Genomic Medicine and Global Health. These themes represent existing research strengths at UMB and are fertile ground for interdisciplinary basic science, translational, behavioral, clinical, epidemiological, and/or health services research. Our BIRCWH Scholars are able to draw from a multidisciplinary pool of senior faculty mentors as well as former Scholars to form mentor teams that will provide depth and breadth to their training experiences. A unique feature of our program is that our Scholars have opportunities to collaborate with faculty from all six of our UMB professional schools: Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work. The objectives of the program are 1) to continue to identify and recruit outstanding new investigators who are either already on the faculty of one of the professional schools at UMB or who would be excellent external candidates for faculty positions (Special attention will be given to the recruitment and training of underrepresented minorities, those with disabilities, and women);2) to continue to provide mentored interdisciplinary training in women's health research by developing individualized teams of mentors for each Scholar, taking advantage of the strong existing basic science, genomic and genetic, translational, clinical, behavioral, epidemiological, and health services research based at UMB, the institutional research infrastructure, and formal didactic training opportunities in design and conduct of research;3) to provide junior investigators with training in the academic and professional skills needed to become successful independent scientific investigators;4) to continue to evaluate the MORE-WH program by tracking the career progress of its Scholars, by responding to the advice and critiques of our Internal and External Advisory Committees, and by continuing to employ feedback mechanisms for program modification.
The ultimate goal of this career development program for junior faculty members in women's health research is to enlarge and enrich the pool of scientists working to improve the health of women. Through a program of individualized mentoring by a team of senior researchers with expertise from several disciplines, the Scholars selected for the BIRCWH program will develop their own independent research careers, and will eventually train a new generation of scientists in women's health.
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