At every phase along the cancer control continuum there are unanswered questions that challenge researchers in their battle against this disease. Over the past 10 years, the UCLA Career Development Program in Cancer Prevention and Control Research (R25) has successfully prepared promising post-doctoral scholars to meet these challenges by conducting transdisciplinary research that is critical to advancing the field. Our plan for a third program cycle builds on this experience and embodies our commitment to training the next generation of cancer control scientists by exposing them to the scope and diversity of this field, and the concepts, vocabulary, research skills, and analytical tools their work will require, with special focus on the needs of disadvantaged populations. It embodies continuity through maintenance of program elements that have successfully promoted the progress of twenty-seven post-doctoral fellows as reflected in their exemplary record of publications, receipt of research grants, and post-program academic and research placements. Our plan includes continued leadership by our experienced Directors guided by outstanding Advisory, Curriculum and External Advisory Committees, active involvement of a committed interdisciplinary group of 35 Core Faculty members and program location in the dynamic, interdisciplinary environment of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and School of Public Health at UCLA. Fellows have access to the extensive resources at UCLA, including state of the art research facilities, vast educational opportunities, and community partnerships with organizations serving one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the nation. We will continue recruitment of an ethnically and disciplinarily diverse cohort of 6-8 outstanding post-doctoral fellows in order to promote the synergy that has been a hallmark of the program, and achievement by these fellows of core competencies through a structured but flexible program of coursework, mentored transdisciplinary research, conduct of pilot research guided by a primary and secondary mentor, publications and grant writing, and participation in symposia, workshops and other career-building activities. Based on a critical evaluation of our program, our plan for the next cycle also includes new and modified program elements that represent program change and growth: inclusion for the first time of 2-3 pre-doctoral fellows, expansion of a unique mini-course program that ensures exposure to new, emerging, cutting-edge issues as well as coverage of core content in the cancer prevention and control, enhancing links to Centers and Departments in our program environment, and revisions in our admissions and faculty orientation procedures that will further strengthen the program. Building on what has worked well and implementing innovative strategies will allow us to continue to achieve our vital mission: provision of a rich training program for future researchers so that they can and will successfully move our field forward.
This proposal supports continuing the UCLA Career Development Program in Cancer Prevention and Control Research. The purpose of the program is to train transdisciplinary scientists to conduct cancer prevention and control research to reduce the population burden of this major disease.
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