The disproportionate burden of cancer and other deleterious health disparities/inequities within minority and underserved communities in the United States (US) is well-documented. A key barrier to achieving health equity is understanding the multi-level determinants that lead to disparities, ranging from biological and genetic factors to behavioral, environmental, and policy factors. Most health disparities associated with race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) are complex and not determined solely by individual-level factors even though cancer risk can be influenced by individual-level risk behaviors. The growing recognition of this complexity has fostered innovative sociocultural, economic, behavioral, epidemiologic, and policy research that contributes to a better understanding of disparate health outcomes. However, continued advances in the field depend on the development of a diverse, appropriately trained scientific workforce. Our goal is to train a diverse cadre of scientists with the skills and experience needed to address the range of challenges and opportunities in research on cancer-related health disparities and to advance health equity policies at the national and local levels. Enhancing multidisciplinary cancer health equity research will also contribute to the health of our nation by expanding the research talent pool, enhancing innovation, and diversifying our health equity research leadership. This renewal application is designed to continue to advance cancer health equity by providing a diverse cadre of promising pre and postdoctoral trainees with the necessary education, mentored research training, and career development opportunities to become productive independent researchers. We are submitting this application for a competitive renewal of the Cancer Education and Career Development Program (CECDP) in response to the T32 PA-16-152 since the R25T mechanism has been discontinued. The CECDP was initially funded in 1992 under the R25T mechanism, and we are seeking funding for Years 26-30. We propose the following specific aims:
Specific Aim 1. To continue to provide an integrated educational experience combining a comprehensive curriculum and a health disparities and leadership certificate program Specific Aim 2. To continue to recruit a diverse group of pre and postdoctoral trainees who are dedicated to a productive academic career in cancer, health disparities, and health equity.
Specific Aim 3. To prepare trainees to conduct independent research by providing strong interdisciplinary mentorship and scientific specialization in cancer prevention and control Specific Aim 4. To provide a solid foundation in the responsible conduct of research through formal coursework and informal day-to-day activities related to scientific integrity.
Specific Aim 5. To employ an ongoing evaluation of program investments and program results so that the T32 meets educational, mentored research training, and career development objectives.
The purpose of the Cancer Education and Career Development Program (CECDP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is to continue to train a diverse cadre of scientists with the skills and experience needed to become independent scientists and address the range of challenges and opportunities in research on cancer-related health disparities and to advance health equity policies at the national and local levels. We propose to continue this successful CECDP for years 26-30.