With this renewal application to the NIMHD Endowment Program for Increasing Research and Institutional Resources Capacity (S21), Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) proposes to continue building capacity and infrastructure that facilitate and enhance the university's ongoing career development and research activities in the arena of health disparities. Through the NIMHD-endowed Life Sciences Institute (LSI) (formerly Medical Sciences Institute [MSI]), and related federally funded research activities, the CDU leadership and faculty are rigorously and creatively designing and developing a research environment in which a strong, diverse scientific community can productively collaborate in addressing solutions to the complex problem of health disparities. The mission of the 5-Year Endowment Strategic Plan is to guide the university in its allocation of endowment funds to support activities that maximize the university?s efforts to substantially improve the health status of underserved communities through supporting biomedical and behavioral research and its translation into high-quality clinical outcomes, improved community health, and progressive health policy. The proposed renewal will vitally bolster the LSI endowment portfolio currently managed through a collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Endowment Foundation, further strengthening the established operations base of effective and sophisticated portfolio management consistent with the highest national standards of fiduciary oversight. The endowment portfolio will be allocated among a number of asset classes that flexibly include domestic equity, domestic fixed income, international equity, international fixed income, private equity, venture capital, and cash to ensure the proper level of diversification and the fiscal solvency necessary for creating an empowering and self-sustaining research infrastructure at CDU. The overall programmatic objective of this proposal is to enhance the recruitment and retention of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences and community health science through achievement of three specific aims: (1) establish a Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Faculty Retention Fund, as a means of successfully transitioning junior faculty from career development grant support to independent investigator-initiated research grant support;(2) recruit, retain, and support ?community faculty? within the Division of Community Engagement, a novel academic track designed to create a transformational learning environment at CDU and a model of Community-Academic partnership immersion for the nation;and (3) continue effective management of the endowment portfolio at a level consistent with the highest fiduciary standards in the nation.
Endowment funding is sought to continue building capacity and support infrastructure for the university?s ongoing health disparities research activities; specifically in the areas of career development for junior faculty; community engagement for successful community research; and effective management of the endowment portfolio.
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