The Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) is nationally recognized for its decade-long effort to develop an approach to community-based participatory research (CBPR) that has established trust and collaboration with Alaska Native tribal communities. COBRE I/II funding established CANHR and enhanced our intellectual capital and research productivity through several new well-qualified faculty and staff hires. The goals of the Pilot Project Program (PPP) are to continue this momentum of accelerating growth in CANHR capacity by: (1) providing funding to foster the career development of new CANHR investigators by expanding their collaborative networks and ultimately enhancing their research competitiveness through the formation of External Partnerships for Specific Expertise (EPSE) with scientific leaders at research-Intensive universities;(2) strengthening existing and establishing new Alaska Native community partnerships;and (3) collecting preliminary data to strengthen future grant applications supporting high impact CBPR studies. Through the application of explicitly stated inclusion/exclusion criteria along with a formal external NIH-type peer review process, we will Identify highly meritorious projects that: (1) address a research agenda developed jointly by CANHR with our community partners involving obesity and metabolic disease, youth suicide, or substance abuse;(2) have strong potential to develop into fundable extramural research grant applications;and (3) lead to publishable manuscripts in high impact journals. The PPP is also designed to provide resources needed to sustain existing and foster new Alaska Native community relationships and to establish new partnerships with experienced investigators as mentors. The formation of EPSE collaborations with scientific leaders Is an innovative program derived from similar collaborations with UA President's Professors, which have led to over $24M in extramural funding for CANHR investigators since 2006. These new collaborative networks, along with the requirement that all pilot projects use at least one CANHR core, will play an important role in ensuring the sustainability of CANHR beyond the P30.
The Pilot Project Program supports several key functions of CANHR, including: the development of the next generation of researchers addressing health priorities of Alaska Native people using CBPR;support of meritorius pilot projects that will enhance the competitiveness of CANHR scientists;high impact research that along with EPSE collaborative networks will play a key role in the sustainability of CANHR beyond the P30;and development of culturally respectful collaborations with Alaska Native communities.
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