The goal of this program is to increase the proportion of Latinos in cancer control research, particularly in the Southwestern U.S., by establishing a Latino Training Program for Cancer Control Research (LTPCCR) that will motivate Latino master's-level students and health professionals to complete doctoral programs and careers as cancer control researchers. The LTPCCR is modeled after an evidence-based training model entitled, Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research (MTPCCR) that targeted a spectrum of ethnic groups in California. Specifically, the LTPCCR will recruit an annual cohort of 20 Latino master's-level students or master's-trained health professionals. An innovation of the LTPCCR is that it targets a single ethnic minority - Latinos/Hispanics who will come from the Southwestern U.S. and Oklahoma. It will provide four interventions along the pipeline from masters-level to doctoral-level training, including: a) a Summer Institute for all participants, b) 9 annual paid summer internships in cancer disparities research (Y2-5), c) 3 annual Doctoral Application Support Awards and d) a Doctoral Student Retreat. Lastly, it will demonstrate an enrollment rate in doctoral programs that exceeds Latino enrollment achieved by the previous MTPCCR. We anticipate a minimum annual Latino enrollment of at least 15% (a 33% increase over that achieved by the MTPCCR). Additional we expect at least 50% of doctoral students reporting cancer control as their research focus and the majority of doctoral students indicating that the Texas program had a strong positive influence on these academic goals. Other benchmarks for success include a significant increase in self-efficacy and in participants'intention to apply to a doctoral program after attending the Summer Institute;and a minimum of 65% of participants rating each session as excellent.
Despite private and governmental support for programs that encourage Latinos to move through the pipeline from high school to college to research in basic sciences and medicine, there has been little investment in the social and behavioral sciences that send cancer control researchers out into communities to conduct epidemiologic, communication, and behavioral research. The goal of this program is to address these disparities by increasing the proportion of Latinos in cancer control research, particularly in the Southwestern U.S.