The RCMAR National Coordinating Center (CC) at UCLA is designed to work across Centers to sustain them as a network, provide common administrative and technical support, and promote their accomplishments to audiences beyond those reached by an individual Center. To accomplish these goals, we propose to build on our past success and provide enhanced logistical support to the RCMARs and the NIA;coordinate expanded linkages between RCMARs, the NIA and the other centers, educational programs, professional associations and community and consumer organizations;increase dissemination of RCMAR processes, tools, and results to learning communities, including state and national minority and aging research centers and educational programs;and develop an evaluation plan for the achievement of its objectives. Logistical support includes planning and implementation of RCMAR Annual Investigator Meetings;preparing and producing the web-based, semi-annual Program Performance Reports on behalf of the RCMAR Program. Linkage activities include fostering cross-site collaboration, creating a web-based communication and resource system for RCMARs, the NIA, and the scientific, public policy, and consumer communities. We will facilitate cross-RCMAR collaborative activities, including a Visiting Scholars Program and development of grant proposals to sponsor inter-Center research and education programs. Using a diffusion of innovation model, information transfer and dissemination activities are tailored to specific audiences in coordination with the RCMARs and the NIA. The CC plans a number of "deliverables": RCMAR Scholar Tracking System;searchable databases on the website for ease of informational queries by key stakeholders;brief reports for specific constituencies;and symposia and forums for information transfer between RCMARs and other national networks of research centers, professional associations, community service networks and consumer groups. The CC utilizes a multi-method performance-based evaluation plan, with general oversight provided by an External Advisory Committee.
Just as the NIH has a Center funding mechanism in recognition that a cluster of grants builds a research capacity that is greater than the individual projects, there is a need to build upon the accomplishments and lessons learned by geographically dispersed RCMARs that work on a common theme. The significant output from the individual RCMAR Centers, each of which has a somewhat different substantive emphasis, benefits from the efforts of a Coordinating Center to leverage and disseminate their outcomes.
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