The transition from junior investigator to independent researcher can already be full of hurdles. There are difficulties establishing a research program, forming collaborations, publishing and securing grant funding. When one adds to this the challenges of pursuing an interdisciplinary path, incorporafing how health and economic decisions are affected by race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and age and the need for top-rate training and mentorship becomes even more clear. The Invesfigator Development Core (IDC) will advance the Center goals by offering talented junior invesfigators known as RCMAR scholars, multidisciplinary mentoring and training in utilizing the tools and methods from economics as well as computer science, medicine, gerontology and social work to conduct research on the health and economic challenges of minority elderly. The IDC will prepare them with the skills to become independent researchers. It will also establish mechanism for enhancing the pool of and diversity of investigators in these research areas. The activities of the Investigator Development Core will have a significant and long-lasting impact on the quality of research conducted to improve the well-being of older individuals in diverse populations. The activities of and faculty involved in the IDC are extremely well positioned to train the next generation of research leaders in health and economic well being of minority elderly. Specifically, scholars will have the opportunity to gain: ? A familiarity with the vocabulary needed to communicate meaningfully with their colleagues in other relevant disciplines. RCMAR scholars will learn the vocabulary for engaging in meaningful dialogue with economists, gerontologists, other social scientists, computer scientists and medical faculty working on health disparities. ? A multidisciplinary perspective that will enable them to recognize key aging issues in diverse population and make the best use of available data. Scholars will have the vocabulary and training in methods and theories to ask questions and discover the best possible answers. ? The resources to establish contact with other disciplines. Both the environment and the faculty of the proposed program will provide scholars the opportunity to identify the biomedical and social scienfist specialists with whom they will need to consult or collaborate in the future in order to produce excellent research. This is a key benefit, given the interdisciplinary nature of the field of aging. ? An interactive learning experience. While culturally relevant knowledge and econometric tools can be found in textbooks and the literature, the program provides RCMAR scholars to engage actively in research projects through pilot studies and hands-on mentoring during the course of the pilot project and after. ? A long-term relationship. Generally, grant proposals and papers undergo numerous rounds of review and revision. The Executive Committee and faculty mentors with help and advise RCMAR scholars through this process and will see that their collaborative and independent research and other professional activities are confinued in the years after their appointment as scholars.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3)
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University of Southern California
Los Angeles
United States
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