The University of Utah has an exemplary record of informatics training dating back to the mid-1960s, when the program was founded by Dr. Homer R. Warner. Having graduated the most PhDs of any informatics program, ours is both the oldest as well as one of the most productive informatics training enterprise in the world. In this, our third renewal application, we detail our highly successful past decade and outline our plans to continue improving and innovating as we help train the next generation of informatics researchers. We chartered our long-term goal five decades ago: to create and sustain a modern, adaptive, and relevant training environment that promotes research excellence. The mission of our program centers on improving health outcomes through the innovative use of information systems, emphasizing clinical informatics;public health informatics;and translational/clinical research informatics. Our specific training objectives are: * To provide a thoroughly integrated curriculum that includes foundational theory as well as exposure to practice, one sensitive to the continual evolution of the field of informatics. * To ensure a solid grounding in the responsible conduct of research for all trainees. * To foster a research environment that provides the broadest possible variety of resources to faculty and trainees, while carefully mentoring and monitoring trainees to ensure timely, high-caliber research. * To recruit trainees nationally/internationally with a special emphasis on attracting women and underrepresented minorities to enrich diversity in the field of biomedical informatics in Utah and beyond. The key elements of our research training plan reflect these training objectives. We continue a major curriculum enhancement program started in 2006. For training in the ethical conduct of research, we exploit the background of the proposed Program Director (Hurdle) who, as former Chair of the University of Utah IRB, organizes training in the responsible conduct of research. Regarding our trainee research environment, we provide unparalleled access to clinical, public health, and translational clinical research opportunities as well as a network and computational infrastructure second to none. Our trainees in clinical informatics have one of the broadest choices of clinical settings in the nation: a major academic medical center;a statewide nonprofit healthcare network;and a regional Veterans Administration Medical Center. Finally, our mentoring and evaluation plan can be summarized as 'continual, systematic, and proactive--a balanced mixture of automated tracking and regular face-to-face meetings.'The overarching rationale behind our program is to ensure that our trainees complete a thoughtful training program that stresses curricular diversity mixed with practical experience and research excellence. Our projected complement of trainees includes the standard nine pre- doctoral and six post-doctoral positions, as well as two annual short-term diversity positions, one pre- and one post-doctoral.
The University of Utah's Department of Biomedical Informatics has been granting research doctorates for nearly half a century, and this third NLM Training Program renewal application is its strongest yet. The current application describes an exceptionally well-balanced faculty, a thoughtful curriculum, a proactive diversity- centric recruitment strategy, and an unparalleled research environment for NLM trainees. Underpinning these resources is a reasoned and rigorous evaluation plan, and that combination provides a superior mentoring and training environment for the next generation of biomedical informatics researchers.
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