To address the needs of an aging population, it is incumbent upon the research community to identify and test novel strategies to prevent disability, and to adapt successful approaches for general use. The Research Career Development Core (RCDC)'s goal is to develop researchers to execute this mission by attracting talented scientists to aging research, supporting their training, and developing their skills to achieve independence. The RCDC recruits promising and diverse junior faculty and tailors a career development plan to each scholar's needs based on prior education, experience, strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals. The plans include: a) a research project, integrated with the OAlC's theme that will help initiate an independent line of research;b) a formal and individualized educational and skill acquisition strategy;c) a robust team based mentorship program to foster translational approaches and career development, and d) a monitoring process that formally evaluates the progress of trainees using specific milestones of achievements that are reviewed, logged, and updated every six months. The RCDC faculty, Drs. Kritchevsky, Loeser, and Duncan will oversee the Core's activities to achieve its 3 specific aims: 1. To engage promising junior faculty new to aging research to facilitate their early career development in aging research in a new Emerging Scholars Program. 2. To recruit, support, and mentor junior faculty with a demonstrated commitment to an aging research career (Pepper scholars) by providing financial support and a tailored mentorship, research and educational program emphasizing the development of skills and competencies necessary to build an independent career in collaborative and interdisciplinary research. 3. To monitor progress of trainees using specific milestones of expected achievements, and improve RCDC programs through an ongoing evaluation process. We will use formative and summative evaluations encompassing RCDC activities, interactions with other OAIC components, and interactions with university-wide career development activities.

Public Health Relevance

The RCDC addresses the needs of an aging population by helping to train an interdisciplinary research workforce to apply team-based collaborative approaches to discover, evaluate, and deploy innovative approaches to preserve function and prevent and treat disability.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-8)
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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