This proposal requests continued funding for a unique and highly successful predoctoral research training program situated in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. This program aims to prepare students for research and teaching careers focused on the historical, social, and culture dimensions of gender and sexuality as they impact on reproductive and sexual health both nationally and globally. The size of our highly qualified applicant pool and the success of our trainees in obtaining alternative funding for their dissertation research lead us to request an increase from the current four to five funded training slots. Nationally, sexual and reproductive health indicators continue to lag behind those of other developed countries. Globally, the burden of disease and death associated with HIV, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and infant mortality represents an urgent problem. Trainees in this multidisciplinary program follow a theoretically and methodologically rigorous curriculum consisting of (1) rigorous disciplinary training in anthropology, sociology, psychology, history or political science comparable to that received by Ph.D. candidates in Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences;(2) a two-semester specially-designed course in the major traditions in social theory that undergird contemporary practice in the sociomedical sciences and its application to health-related research;(3) training in epidemiology and biostatistics;(4) a course in the biological bases of sexual and reproductive health;(5) a minimum of two additional courses specifically focused on contemporary theoretical approaches and substantive topics in gender, sexuality, and health;(6) an ongoing faculty-trainee seminar in gender, sexuality, and health;(7) a required course in research ethics;8) a research apprenticeship supervised by program faculty;(9) doctoral research focused on a topic in gender, sexuality, and health. This program's core and resource faculty are drawn from the disciplines listed above plus medicine, epidemiology, social work, and public policy.
This is a research training program aimed to prepare predoctoral students for careers that will contribute to the advancement of knowledge concerning how societal, cultural, and historical influences shape sexual and reproductive health. Students completing this program will be prepared to conduct research that addresses the burden of death and disease associated with sexuality and reproduction and to inspire the next generation of scholars to work in this field.
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