The specific aims represent a systematic continuation of prior RCMAR efforts. Specifically the mission of the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) is to generate knowledge that will reduce health disparities and improve health. To fulfill this mission, MCUAAAR pursues twin goals of: (1) increasing the number of highly trained African American aging researchers;and, (2) including more elderly African American subjects in health disparities research. To achieve these two goals, the continuation application proposes to explore three specific aims: 1) To recruit and mentor 15 new junior scholars into the area of aging and health research;2) To increase important research on health and health promotion among Older Adults of ethnic and racial populations, especially African Americans;and, 3) To extend research on the recruitment and retention of African American elders in health by utilizing the large MCUAAAR Participant Registry. Among other things, Aims 1 and 2 are motivated by the NIH-funded study (Ginther et al, 2011), which reported that grant applications from black scientists were 10 percentage points less likely to win grants than were applications from white investigators;in practical terms, this gap means that whites are about twice as likely as blacks to win approval.
Aim 3 recognizes that a sophisticated social/behavioral approach is required to understand the growing mortality, disease and health disparities among older African Americans. Throughout their training, MCUAAAR scholars will have: unlimited access to the Participant Registry, a research pool of currently 1685 willing minority respondents built over nearly a decade following a Community Based Participatory Model. The significance of this project is directly rooted in three major factors: overcoming critical barriers, improving scientific knowledge, and advancing the field of aging research. The project innovativeness of MCUAAAR resides in three distinctive features: shifts in current paradigms, novel approaches, and refined concepts.
The need for well-trained faculty of color devoted to the study and amelioration of significant health status and health service disparities is well-documented. The purpose of the MCUAAAR is to provide training for junior scholars to become independent NIH funded researchers, facilitate community outreach and community research participation, and contribute to reducing and the eventual amelioration of race and ethnic health disparities.
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