The Investigator Development Core (IDC) of the Deep South RCMAR is designed to build research capacity in minority aging and health disparities research among investigators from different fields in four partnering institutions (Morehouse School of Medicine, Tuskegee University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham). The core will consist of (1) a formal Health Disparities Research Training Program, which provides training in the basic tools of socil, behavioral, clinical and outcomes research, complemented by a mentored research experience, (2) a Pilot Grant Program offering funding, mentoring, and guidance for the development and implementation of small-scale studies; and (3) diversity supplements for a small number of Scholars to assist them in establishing independent research careers in minority aging and health disparities.
The specific aims of the IDC are to (1) build research capacity and increase the diversity of the workforce through the education of a diverse group of faculty scholars, (2) build research capacity through individualized mentoring by a senior investigator, opportunities to work on multidisciplinary teams, and working with scholars to present and publish their research findings in collaboration with their mentor(s), and (3) build research capacity through research funding. The proposed partnership is an ideal setting for proposed work given (1) the large pool of well established mentors with a long track record of successful mentoring activities and research record in aging and/or health disparities, who offer many opportunities to participate in large, collaborative, multidisciplinary research programs; and (2) the large pool of minority faculty and students at the, partnering institutions who could benefit from the resources provided through proposed Deep South RCMAR. We will continue to evaluate the program through process, impact, and outcome evaluations.
The goal of the IDC is to identify, engage, and mentor outstanding diverse faculty committed to academic careers in health disparities and aging research. The IDC provides support for pilot projects, expertise in the recruitment and retention of older African Americans in research, and expertise in measurement and analysis, with the goal of eliminating health disparities through improving minority health.
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