The IMSD (Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity) Program at the Harvard School of Public Health is designed to maximize the number of under-represented minority students pursuing quantitative research careers in health disparities. The overall goals of our training program are to: 1. Maximize pre-doctoral student diversity at the Harvard School of Public Health by recruiting and supporting 10 students per year from four Departments (Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, and Society, Human Development and Health), in order to- 2. Equip students with population health theories and methods to undertake research on health disparities;3. Provide mentorship in career development, skills, and competencies;4. Strengthen the "pipeline" within the institution - as well as nationally - for minority students to transition from pre-doctoral to post-doctoral fellowships, and eventually to faculty positions;and 5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the program following a defined set of objectives and criteria. Our focus on the theme of health disparities is consistent with the NIH-wide emphasis on health disparities research, as well as with one of the key missions of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), which is to understand -- and to intervene on -- the causes of health disparities. Within the institution, the IMSD training grant serves as a critical link in the "pipeline" of under- represented minority students that the Harvard School of Public Health has sought to build for over a decade. The links in this pipeline begin with the active recruitment of promising students through the efforts of the Office of Diversity and the Admissions Office. Following completion of pre-doctoral training within the IMSD program, the pipeline then extends to postdoctoral training programs at Harvard including the Kellogg Health Scholars in Minority Health Disparities and the Alonzo Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship, which aim to maximize the transition of minority post-doctoral fellows to junior faculty positions. Doctoral students supported though the IMSD training grant are trained in their own disciplinary area, but also receive additional training in theories and methods relevant to health disparities research. This is accomplished through participation in weekly seminars and close working relationships with faculty mentors. In addition to training in research, students in the program also receive training in a set of core competencies essential for public health, including grant writing, publishing in the peer- reviewed literature, effective public presentations, and the responsible conduct of research.

Public Health Relevance

While the nation has witnessed impressive gains in improving overall health, some Americans face much poorer prospects for good health than others. There is a critical need to equip a new generation of scholars with the theories and quantitative methods to analyze - and intervene on - the problem of health disparities in this country. The mission of the IMSD training program at the Harvard School of Public Health is to train a new generation of pre-doctoral students from under-represented minority backgrounds to become future leaders in the field of health disparities.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
5R25GM055353-15
Application #
8257523
Study Section
Minority Programs Review Committee (MPRC)
Program Officer
Janes, Daniel E
Project Start
1998-02-01
Project End
2014-02-28
Budget Start
2012-03-01
Budget End
2013-02-28
Support Year
15
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$530,412
Indirect Cost
$27,441
Name
Harvard University
Department
Social Sciences
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
149617367
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02115
Criss, Shaniece; Oken, Emily; Guthrie, Lauren et al. (2016) A qualitative study of gestational weight gain goal setting. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 16:317
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Davison, Kirsten K; Gicevic, Selma; Aftosmes-Tobio, Alyssa et al. (2016) Fathers' Representation in Observational Studies on Parenting and Childhood Obesity: A Systematic Review and Content Analysis. Am J Public Health 106:e14-e21
Taylor, Kathryn M; Saint-Hilaire, Marie-Helene; Sudarsky, Lewis et al. (2016) Head injury at early ages is associated with risk of Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 23:57-61
Barber, Sharrelle; Hickson, DeMarc A; Kawachi, Ichiro et al. (2016) Double-jeopardy: The joint impact of neighborhood disadvantage and low social cohesion on cumulative risk of disease among African American men and women in the Jackson Heart Study. Soc Sci Med 153:107-15
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Aftosmes-Tobio, Alyssa; Ganter, Claudia; Gicevic, Selma et al. (2016) A systematic review of media parenting in the context of childhood obesity research. BMC Public Health 16:320
Criss, Shaniece; Cheung, Lilian; Giles, Catherine et al. (2016) Media Competition Implementation for the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study (MA-CORD): Adoption and Reach. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:403
Mitchell, Patrick K; Lipsitch, Marc; Hanage, William P (2015) Carriage burden, multiple colonization and antibiotic pressure promote emergence of resistant vaccine escape pneumococci. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 370:20140342
Criss, Shaniece; Woo Baidal, Jennifer A; Goldman, Roberta E et al. (2015) The Role of Health Information Sources in Decision-Making Among Hispanic Mothers During Their Children's First 1000 Days of Life. Matern Child Health J 19:2536-43

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