clarifies that the proposed National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) Early Career Stage Mentoring Program for NIDA Research (ECSM) addresses a current Hispanic minority under-representation among NIHINIDA principal investigators, and will provide training and men to ring for Hispanic early career stage sdentists, including future HN I AIDS researchers. The NSHN network of 40 NIDA-funded mentors is led by 3 senior scientists with HIV 1 AIDS research experience (Anthony, Castro, Pantin). Proposed HN I AIDS traininglmentoring components will be offered by the 18 experienced mentors with recent NIDA Ro1 or K-type awards for HIVIAIDS research projects. Background conditions for this program include treasured NIH clinicai research advances, but some inefficiency in NIH science education processes, untapped science leadership talent, and many NIH-eligible institutions and Congressional districts where NIH has limited or no research presence. Seeking to address such conditions, the ECSM model bridges a specific postdoctoral science education chasm now separating (1) initial research training on one side, and (2) successful receipt of a 1st NIH K- or ROl project award on the other side. Multi-year biomedical science education opportunities now exist for woos of pre- and post-doctoral trainees, but relatively few trainees achieve K- or Ro1 award success. Eligible ECSM fellows will be well-trained, advanced level faculty I staff scientists at early career stage, with priority given to those within institutions that qualify for NIH R15 Academic Research Enhancement Awards. An NHSN 'culture of mentorship'model matches mentor-guides with each fellow and provides weekly webinars and 2 annual meetings. A successful K- or R01 award is the planned outcome milestone for each of the 15 eligible NIDAand Hispanic-oriented fellows who will be trained and mentored. If tllis model for NIDA's Hispanic-oriented fellows succeeds, it may be adaptable as a more general NIH-wide 'K-lite' mentorship award mechanism to evoke otherwise untapped PI-level science leadership talents of our nation's many biomedical research trainees. All 15 ECSM fellows will be encouraged to make HIV I AIDS a facet of future research;targeted recruitment will ensure that some of the fellows will have a primary NIDA research career commitment to HIV I AIDS research.
Growth in Hispanic heritage US populations helps motivate NIDA to enhance/expand its science education resources for NIDA/Hispanic-oriented scientists in the eru:ly stages of career development, to increase thdr success in the R01 and K-award competition, and to extend its valuable presence into institutions and Congressional districts not presently well-represented within the NIDA portfolio of funded research or research training. Other NIH units may benefit from the proposed R25 program model as well, which will seek an R25/R15 synthesis in an innovative approach intended to achieve multiple valued outcomes for NIH and NIDA. The project includes a specific focus on training of early career stage investigators for HIV I AIDS research, including behaviors that place individuals at increased risk of HIV infection.
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