The Pilot and Training Core serves a vital function within the Overall Center by providing the ability to conduct smaller projects which are intended to lay the foundation for cutting-edge, multidisciplinary, scientifically innovative and synergistic Type 1 and 11 translational prevention research in drug abuse in the child welfare system (CWS). Additionally, the core contributes to the Center aim to serve as a national resource for early career investigator training in drug abuse prevention in the CWS by providing intensive mentoring and training to Early Career and Minority Scientists and advanced graduate students in the writing of high-quality applications, and the day-to-day management of projects. The Pilot and Training Core has three aims. First, the core will oversee the generation, review, selection, and administration of pilot studies that will complement and enhance the thematically integrated aims of the Center. Preference will be given to research led by Early Career and Minority Scientists and graduate students. Second, to facilitate the ability of Early Career and Minority Scientists and advanced graduate students to create high-quality, fundable applications, the Core will provide training in writing research proposals and project management. These investigators will be closely mentored by Center Senior Scientists, Consultants and Advisory Board members through a rigorous application process that is designed to give realistic practice in submitting applications. Mentors will also closely supervise the progress of pilots, providing feedback on day-to-day project management. The Core will also work with the Methodology and Statistics Core to offer workshops in grant writing. Third, the Core will play an important part in the overall Center mission to contribute to scientific innovation and knowledge dissemination by providing information to the scientific and clinical communities about the pilots, the results gained from those projects, and publications arising from the pilots on a regular basis. Overall, the dedication of a core to pilot studies and training allows us to examine new avenues and develop capacity for additional integrative science efforts in the Center while also providing mentoring and training opportunities for Early Career and Minority Scientists and advanced graduate students.
Children in the CWS are among the most disadvantaged individuals in America, with elevated drug use, delinquency, and HIV-risk behaviors. Evidence-based interventions for CWS-involved families are rarely implemented into routine CWS practice. The proposed Center would provide a national resource in drug abuse prevention research, with the ultimate goal of reducing drug use and related outcomes for CWS youth.
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