There is a great need for researchers in communication disorders trained in language impairments. The proposed competing continuation would continue to provide predoctoral cross-disciplinary research training as well as preparation for research and teaching careers addressing language impairments from a lifespan orientation. These areas of expertise appear in academic departments of communication disorders, cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, human development, psychology, geriatrics, and cognitive science. Four predoctoral trainees are requested for 2-3 years of support per trainee. It is expected that trainees will be drawn primarily from current doctoral students in child language, communication disorders, linguistics, or cognitive psychology. The program faculty includes ten experienced, productive researchers who direct active research laboratories. These faculty have related interests as well as a track record of collaborative endeavors. Trainees will enroll in a cross-disciplinary curriculum of academic offerings in content courses, research methods and design, and responsible conduct of research. Each trainee will participate in primary and secondary level research experiences. The primary research participation will be a multi-year apprenticeship that takes place in a laboratory headed by one of the program faculty. A secondary, short-term research experience will be carried out under the direction of a second faculty member. Faculty and peer mentoring will be recognized as important dimensions of the research training experience. A peer mentoring group will be continued, and serve as a source of feedback to the faculty. The climate for scholarship includes a wide variety of scholarly activities, including participation with trainees from other disciplines, access to visiting scholars, and participation in the ongoing series of seminars and workshops sponsored by the Merrill Advanced Studies Center and the Institute for Life Span Studies. Preparation of research posters, talks, scientific papers and an F31 proposal is expected.
The training addresses a major public health need in the development of scientific expertise to guide the remediation of language impairments as well as in the creation of a cadre of well-trained researchers to train the next generation of researchers and clinicians.
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