Introduction As part of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, federally funded researchers were challenged to adopt research models combining social, behavioral, clinical, and basic science, and it is increasingly apparent that researches can only fully understand and address health disparities from a population health perspective. The research and community foci we propose in this application include multilevel interventions and require multidisciplinary teams who must be trained in approaching health disparities from a population health perspective. Our proposed continuation of the UlC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) will provide a sound environment for training and career development to encourage and enable pre and post doctoral fellows and junior faculty to conduct culturally appropriate, community-based research in the area of health disparities. We also anticipate that the multidisciplinary investigative teams in our Center will become more fully engaged in the multilevel methodology necessary to address health disparities and that they will help create an environment that facilitates career development for their younger colleagues. We will encourage this by integrating cross-disciplinary discussions among researchers, community partners, and policy makers in both our monthly steering committee meetings and weekly project meetings (see Administrative Core and Overview). We will also monitor the broader academic environment and encourage our investigators and trainees to participate in relevant seminars and courses that build on the solid array of research and academic expertise and activities already available at UlC to provide instruction in the conduct of health disparities research. In addition, and of particular importance in this description of the Training and Career Development Core, we will encourage the involvement of junior scholars in the work of the CPHHD and will foster an environment where these individuals can receive mentoring and make important contributions to expanding the reach of research within the Center. Thus, we propose the following specific aims for this Core:
Aim 1. Use the transdisciplinary research environment available at UlC as a resource for recruiting junior scholars interested in conducting research in health disparities and encourage these scholars to develop projects that can be conducted through or in collaboration with CPHHD.
Aim 2. Require that all junior level Investigators, pre- and postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants associated with the CPHHD be offered the opportunity to develop their own research goals and supply them with a multidisciplinary mentoring team of senior CPHHD investigators to facilitate their research in health disparities. While the activities that form the basis of this training experience are focused on cancer disparities, the intent of this Training Core is to use faculty and research experience to apply our general conceptual framework to create an academic enterprise that will allow individuals to address health disparities in many areas. We will access existing university resources to provide cross-disciplinary training to an array of potential researchers including staff involved with the Center, pre- and postdoctoral students, and interested junior faculty. We will focus on providing high-quality hands-on mentored experiences while guiding individuals to appropriate health disparities content in existing seminars or courses, and we will integrate trainees, fellows, faculty, and community and public health partners in on-going discussions to maintain a research focus on urgent and emergent problems in this field.
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