With this R25t application we intend to establish an interdisciplinary research education and training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) focused on implementation research in cancer prevention and control, including tobacco, obesity, diet, physical activity, skin cancer prevention and cancer screenings. There are well-documented gaps between the discovery of knowledge in cancer prevention and control and the application of this knowledge in clinical practice, public health practice, and health policy to benefit population health. Implementation research has emerged as a multi-disciplinary field that seeks to alleviate these gaps. We propose an interdisciplinary training program for postdoctoral fellows that will promote the development of independent implementation researchers through academic training and mentored research experiences. To achieve this goal, we propose five specific aims: 1) To establish an administrative infrastructure to support implementation research education and training in cancer prevention;2) To develop and implement educational curricula focusing on implementation research in cancer prevention with the option of receiving an MS degree specializing in implementation science;3) To offer mentored research experiences for postdoctoral fellows in collaboration with our partnering organizations;4) To recruit highly qualified, diverse candidates;and 5) To effectively monitor and evaluate the program. This application is a joint effort of the UMMS Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine and Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, in collaboration with additional departments (Family Medicine and Community Health, Psychiatry) and centers (Meyers Primary Care Institute, Prevention Research Center, Center for Health Equity Intervention Research, Health Geography Lab, Center for mHealth, Center for Tobacco Treatment and Research). Infrastructure and cross campus collaborations established through the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (NIH CTSA), including the UMass Amherst Schools of Public Health and Health Sciences and Computer Science and UMass Boston, will also be leveraged. Clinical and community partners include: the Cancer Center of Excellence, the Bedford and Central MA VA Medical Centers, UMass Memorial Health Care, the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the NCI-sponsored Cancer Research Network and the Public Health Training Center at the UMass School of Public Health and Health Sciences. We propose to enroll two to three fellows per year. At the completion of the training program, we anticipate that fellows will establish careers as independent investigators who will focus on eliminating gaps in the translation of evidence-based cancer prevention research into practice.
There are well-documented gaps between the discovery of knowledge in primary and secondary prevention of cancer and the application of this knowledge to benefit population health. Implementation science has emerged as multidisciplinary research approach to filling these gaps. We propose a multidisciplinary education and training program infrastructure for postdoctoral trainees that will prepare independent investigators to pursue careers focused on implementation research in cancer prevention and control.