This proposal extends for a period of five years a novel interdisciplinary program begun in 1992 that prepares scientists for research careers in the Speech and Hearing Sciences. Training is intended to enhance markedly the leadership potential of Speech and Hearing researchers within both academia and industry. The basic premise of the Program is that speech and hearing scientists must be familiar with a variety of physical, biological, clinical and cognitive science disciplines. The keystone of our program is a quantitative approach to understanding these four aspects of speech and hearing. The program draws upon the combined expertise of the faculties of Boston area institutions, including MIT, the Harvard Medical School and its teaching hospitals, and Boston University. Thus far, over 100 students have entered the pre-doctoral training program, including some who have independent support. Most trainees have undergraduate backgrounds in the physical, engineering, or biological sciences, some have traditional speech and hearing backgrounds. Training combines coursework and research for the first 3 years after which it concentrates on thesis research with the Ph.D. degree expected after 5 to 6 years. The coursework and research training concentrates on both a broad quantitative understanding of speech and hearing sciences together with a deep understanding of the student's chosen specialty. An intensive clinical exposure is the third major part of the didactic training program. Special attention is given to issues of integrity and proper scholarly practices. We expect 45 total graduates by the end of the 14th year. Virtually all of our graduates are pursuing careers in health related research, and two-thirds have primary activities in the speech and hearing sciences. Several have faculty positions in basic science, engineering, and speech and hearing departments and have been awarded research grants. Some are pursuing clinical careers in otology and speech-language pathology. Some are taking leadership roles in industries related to speech and hearing. We will continue vigorous attempts to attract highly qualified students, especially candidates from under-represented minorities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1-SRB-L (41))
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Sklare, Dan
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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