The goal of the Developmental Core (Core B) is to further the research priorities of the CFAR by soliciting and funding developmental projects, providing strong mentorship to junior faculty and those new to the HIV/AIDS research field, strengthening the capacity for HIV/AIDS research in developing countries, and sponsoring training and educational programs to enhance the involvement of young scientists both domestically and internationally. The Developmental Core has a strong track record of providing value added to HIV/AIDS research conducted at Brown and Tufts. Since the inception of the CFAR in 1998, the Developmental Core has supported the research base by providing $2,453,000 in developmental grants to 63 investigators (30 women, 6 minority), of whom 28 have received subsequent grants worth more than $32 million with 49 of the 65 awardees having published over 165 peer reviewed papers on their developmental research findings. The Developmental Core will continue to help meet these critical needs for HIV researchers at Brown, Tufts and our international academic-affiliated institutions in two principal ways: 1) by providing pilot funding to qualified researchers both domestically and internationally, and 2) by providing timely and effective mentoring and support to a broad spectrum of researchers, from undergraduates to junior faculty. In the first year of the CFAR, we will combine $240,000 of CFAR funds to support initial, pilot and collaborative awards to junior investigators and those new to HIV/AIDS research with $100,000 of institutional funds to support development of our international collaborators to the funding of 3 international developmental awards. The Developmental Core will be led by Drs John Coffin and Ira Wilson, with administrative support from the Program Coordinator (R. DiCesare).
Students, trainees at all levels, and junior faculty perennially need resources to conduct pilot projects and mentoring to guide their development. The need to reduce the federal deficit makes it likely the funding for the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, and NSF will at best be flat for the next few years, which only increases pressure on junior faculty members to submit very well written, innovative grant applications that include high quality pilot data. The CFAR Developmental Core provides a mechanism for junior faculty to conduct pilot projects that will hopefully lead to successful independent funding.
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