The 2014 American Urological Association (AUA) Early Investigators Workshop will be held December 5-7, 2014 at the headquarters of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Linthicum, Maryland, near the Thurgood Marshall - BWI Airport. The meeting is intended to provide intense and personalized instruction for a small group of no more than 20 MD and PhD new investigators conducting research in benign and malignant urologic conditions on how to prepare innovative and competitive NIH research grant applications. The program is specifically designed to allow 1-on-1 and small group instruction that will be provided by senior scientists and other advisors and will be customized to best fit th needs of the individual applicant, and the range of proposed research applications that will be presented at the meeting. This meeting will provide a catalyst to increase the quality of research grant proposals submitted to the National Institute of Diabetes &Digestive &Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It is estimated that 60% of the attendees will work in areas associated with non-cancer urology research, and 40% will be investigators in urologic oncology. The workshop continues the long-range strategic vision of the AUA to provide a series of workshops that will be devoted to grant writing, career development and developing an integrated community of urologic investigators to support interdisciplinary research. It is designed to complement the Grantwriting Workshop that is held each year during the AUA Annual Meeting. The primary investigator, Leo Giambarresi, PhD, is the Director of Research for the AUA. The Steering Committee consists of leaders in urologic research, some of whom are Primary Investigators on NIDDK Multidisciplinary K12 Urologic Research (KURe) Career Development Programs: Peter Clark, MD (Chair), Toby Chai, MD;Firouz Daneshgari, MD;Dolores Lamb, PhD;Wade Bushman, MD, PhD;Laurence Baskin, MD;Stephen Freedland, MD;and Johannes Vieweg, MD. All committee members and meeting faculty possess exemplary records in extramural research funding and training of residents and pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows. The Early Career Investigators Workshop will take place over three days. A key session of the meeting will take place on day two when the faculty advisors will meet individually with each of the participants and conduct critical evaluations of their gran proposals. The team of advisors that will meet with each attendee will be customized based on the scientific area, specific aims and methodologies of the proposed research. In addition to a senior scientific advisor, a pathologist, epidemiologist, biostatistician or other individuals from additional specialized areas as needed may assist in the evaluation to provide critiques and instruction that will guide the invitees as they work to improve the proposal over the duration of the workshop. Saturday afternoon's program will primarily consist of a working session where the invitees can work independently or meet with faculty advisors as needed. The program will include: a keynote address on "Building A Research- Cultured Environment;" a presentation on one of the key facets of grant writing, "Identifying &Composing the Pieces of the Research Grant Proposal;" and talks on mentoring and career development from successful mid-career investigators. One of the most valued sessions from past workshop has been the mock study session, in which senior advisors with substantial experience on NIH study sections will conduct actual critiques on research proposals. The panel will review actual proposals that were highly ranked in peer review and those that were poorly ranked to more explicitly demonstrate "Do's" "Don'ts" associated with grant writing.
This Workshop is part of a major effort by the American Urological Association to develop an enduring urology-wide program devoted to improving grant writing, fostering career development. Targeted to early career physicians and scientists, this program is expected to become an integral tool in the goal of developing an integrated community of urologic investigators to support interdisciplinary research that will translate into novel approaches to treat and/or cure urologic conditions or diseases. The relevance of this effort becomes even more critical when the rapid growth of the aging population in this country is considered. Project Narrative: The American Urological Association (AUA) Early Career Investigators Workshop is intended to provide participants with an intense grant writing curriculum and in-depth evaluation of their proposed research grant and instruction from senior scientific advisors in 1-on-1 and small group settings. The meeting is intended to provide guidance that will enhance the quality of grant applications in urologic diseases, both cancer and non-cancer. The experience, outcomes and data gained from this meeting will be used to enhance and evolve the AUA's long-term commitment to a grant writing improvement program for researchers and surgeon-scientists engaged in urology research.