We request continued funding for the highly successful, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training (PCORT). PCORT is a unique, curriculum-based, inter-disciplinary program dedicated to the goal of training leaders in cancer outcomes and healthcare delivery research, with a particular focus on cancer prevention and control. We believe that PCORT has sufficient research and training opportunities to provide a comprehensive research training experience, and that our success - and the success of our trainees - justifies this request for continued funding. Funding will allow continued recruitment of 2 new M.D. and/or Ph.D. trainees and 1 new pre-doctoral trainee per year. Because all trainees spend a minimum of 2 years in the Program, we will maintain a total of 6 trainees in the Program at all times. We will recruit individuals wit diverse prior research experience and training, and will integrate all trainees into a highly collaborative research environment. We will also actively recruit highly qualified minority and women applicants to the program. The Program has 3 components: 1) a specialized curriculum;2) active participation in other didactic experiences;and, 3) mentored, multidisciplinary cancer-related outcomes research. The specialized curriculum involves weekly seminars, including both didactic lectures and "research-in-progress" presentations by trainees and faculty. Appropriately qualified trainees also attend the Harvard Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE), a joint Program of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health. The PCE is an intensive, seven-week, 15 credit classroom-based program that includes required courses in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as a variety of electives. Trainees are encouraged to enroll in or may audit additional courses throughout the Harvard University system that are appropriate for their level of training. Virtuall all M.D. post-doctoral fellows complete a Masters Degree (M.P.H. or M.Sc.) at the Harvard School of Public Health. Trainees spend the largest part of their time participating in mentored cancer outcomes research under the supervision of PCORT mentors. Individual projects are developed by agreement among the trainee, his/her mentors and the PCORT Program Director, and approved by the PCORT Advisory Committee. All projects are multidisciplinary and highly collaborative. There is a strong emphasis on team science. Trainees are exposed to a broad range of cancer outcomes research methods and topics. Trainees are evaluated throughout and upon completion of the Program. After successful completion of the training program, they will be well prepared to conduct independent, externally funded, cancer outcomes research, and to do so effectively as part of a multidisciplinary research team.
The conduct of cancer outcomes research requires the participation of experts in cancer care, as well as experts in all aspects of technology assessment and outcomes analysis, including biostatistics, epidemiology, economics, decision science, and health policy, to ensure that studies are properly conceived and executed, and that evaluations properly assess not only the efficacy of interventions, but also their impact on the management of patients with cancer, and on the healthcare system overall. We have successfully established a program (PCORT) that spans the entire Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and provides training in cancer outcomes research that bridges traditional subspecialty- and discipline-based training experiences. PCORT has successfully recruited and trained an outstanding group of future leaders in cancer outcomes research;continued funding will allow us to continue to do so at a time when other sources of support for these individuals is becoming more difficult to obtain.
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