This competitive renewal application requests continuation of a predoctoral training program at the University of Florida (UF), which was first funded in 2003. The purpose of this program is to train predoctoral researchers in biobehavioral and social approaches to aging, and to prepare them for settings including traditional disciplinary departments, clinical research environments, and multidisciplinary gerontology programs. With the co-location and collaboration between UF's health science and liberal arts campuses, UF is uniquely positioned to offer training in the psychosocial elements of health and disease, behavioral and technological interventions, and mind-body interactions in late life function. Disciplines represented in this proposal include biostatistics, epidemiology, geriatric medicine, health services research, linguistics, neurology, neuropsychology, neuroscience, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, sociology, and speech pathology. Core program components include (1) assignment of each student to a frequently convened multi-disciplinary mentoring team (2) formation and close tracking of productivity goals in the areas of research, education, and service;(3) a weekly campus-wide colloquium series featuring top national speakers, local researchers in aging, and professional development;(4) required supplemental coursework in Aging and Statistics/Methodology, as well as Responsible Conduct of Research. Our mentoring team approach allows us to actively engage energetic newer faculty ("mentors in training") in primary mentoring roles, while supplementing and complementing them with seasoned, productive senior investigators. Funds are requested for six (6) predoctoral trainees. Disciplines which admit post-Masters students (e.g., Nursing, Occupational Therapy) generally graduate in 3-4 years;post-baccalaureate disciplines (e.g., Psychology, Sociology) usually graduate in 5-6 years. T32 funding is typically reserved for students who have completed doctoral qualifying examinations, and are in the final two years of study, thereby selectively investing resources in committed, productive students who have already completed major program milestones. Public Health Relevance: As specified by the NIH Roadmap initiative, there is an urgent need for strongly trained researchers with the ability to transcend disciplinary boundaries, capable of working in multi- disciplinary teams focused on major clinical and social problems. Renewed funding of this training program will allow us to continue our efforts to meet develop this important talent base.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-9 (J1))
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
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University of Florida
Other Health Professions
Schools of Public Health
United States
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