The Development Core nurtures new HIV projects, investigators, and initiatives that both foreshadow and react to new scientific breakthroughs. Peer review, in particular, is a basic process that improves the quality, scope, and strategies that are adopted in launching new scientific endeavors.
The specific aims of the Development Core for the next five years for both emerging and experienced investigators will be: 1. Science: Facilitate new scientific initiatives and projects through the provision of pilot program grants to explore innovative directions in HIV research related to CHIPTS'key scientific themes;and to maintain a system of peer review of grants, publications, and initiatives. 2. Networking: Nourish a challenging and stimulating intellectual environment, especially among trainees in the Fogarty program, the T32, and R25 training programs at UCLA, as well as creating a web-based network to support ethnic minority researchers nationally and globally. 3. Capacity Building: Provide CHIPTS emerging and established investigators and community partners with multidisciplinary scientific support, training and mentoring, specifically in the areas of ethical conduct of research and Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications, publication preparation and reference libraries, the development of grants for both private and public sources that enhance investigators'research capacity and positions them to make cutting edge, meaningful contributions to the HIV detection, prevention and care. Table 3.1: Development Core Primary Functions 1. Pilot Program Support 2. Research Networking Building 3. Partner Capacity Building ? Peer Review ? IRB Training and Consultation ? Emerging Investigator Training ? Community Partner Training Table 3.1 summarizes the Development Core's primary functions. Innovation in developing cutting edge HIV research is encouraged through the availability of pilot program support. This has been particularly important in jump starting portfolios in combination prevention strategies and mobile technologies within the LA community. The Pilot Support Program has resulted in 8 NIH-funded proposals. This Pilot Program Support will continue. For the last three years, the strategic plan coordinated by the Administrative Core has focused our pilot programs on new areas where there were few funded proposals. These investments are now reaping benefits as breakthroughs in mobile technologies, social networking, and combination prevention have dominated the national agenda. The Core is committed to recruiting and training a diverse, interdisciplinary scientific work force for the next generation of HIV research. We have and will propose expanding our current website to include social networking among trainees and postdoctoral fellows in HIV research. Our current T32s, R25, Fogarty training programs and web-based conferences have recruited from national candidate pools. We have been particularly successful in supporting trainees to acquire K awards, pilot grants, and first ROIs. The networking functions among trainees nationally will be a major focus of CHIPTS. Concurrently, community partners receive training and technical assistance on how to implement evidence-based interventions and evaluate their ongoing programs and services. We also build capacity among investigators, community partners domestically and globally. Our training program for new investigators has been highly productive in training investigators not only in publications and grant-seeking, but also in ethical conduct of research (IRB), longitudinal tracking, career planning, project management, and designing a programmatic approach to specific research areas (e.g., social media). We have conducted bimonthly capacity-building workshops tailored to the research and skill development needs of emerging investigators;technical consultation to community and international partners on developing an IRB;and assisted with conferences that include CHIPTS investigators (e.g., International AIDS Conference). Peer review is at the heart of these training processes;grants receive multiple internal and external reviews prior to submission, as do articles. This improves the quality of submissions, as well as skills in design and implementation of research. These activities lay a foundation for a research platform to synthesize, debate, and plan for new scientific initiatives. In the next five years, the Development Core will invest its pilot funds to jump start new research areas and build the capacity of researchers and community partners to conduct meaningful, high quality, HIV research. We will continue to convene think tanks and training programs to better link emerging and established investigators, as well as participate in national research networks. Core scientists will initiate monthly blogs on the CHIPTS website. Peer reviews will continue to create opportunities to widely vet new proposal ideas, especially those using emerging technologies (e.g., webinars). Training and support services will continue to be provided to all investigators to improve the quality of their work.
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