Among NIMH's top priorities is the continued support of clinical services, interventions, and policy research focused on bridging the dissemination and implementation gap between science and service. For the past 25 years, our training program, called the Clinical Services Research Training Program (CSRTP), has launched the careers of clinical services investigators by providing high quality education and support to postdoctoral scholars from a variety of disciplines (including psychology, social work, epidemiology, sociology, medicine, health economics, and nursing) who plan to pursue careers in mental health services research. The graduates of the CSRTP have been extremely successful: eighty-four percent (84%) obtained academic or research positions;by conservative criteria, 66% received research support from extramural, primarily federal, research funds. Over half (54%) of the graduates are women and nearly a third (32%) are racial/ethnic minorities. Our ability to recruit minority applicants has improved. During the last ten years, precisely half of the fellows appointed classify themselves as members of under-represented minorities. Of the women who have graduated from CSRTP, 75% received extramural funding for their research;89% of the racial/ethnic minority graduates obtained extramural research grant support. CSRTP graduates contributed substantively to the extant literature, producing over 500 peer reviewed publications to date. Given the success of our program, we seek five additional years to continue providing high quality training to seven postdoctoral fellows a year who promise to be outstanding leaders in the next generation of clinical services researchers. Our training goals are (a.) to help postdoctoral fellows acquire sufficient methodological knowledge and research skills to conduct high quality clinical services and interventions research;(b.) through study and experiential learning, to help postdoctoral fellows acquire knowledge about the most important pressing and contemporary issues in clinical services research;(c.) to assist postdoctoral fellows to attain professional skills essential to career advancement in academic and research settings;and (d.) to help postdoctoral fellows develop a national scientific peer network within specific research areas.
The NIMH has determined that there is an urgent unmet need for science focused on improvement and development of interventions for individuals suffering from mental illness that are acceptable and easily disseminated to the service community and supported by policy makers. The CSRTP trains junior investigators in the principles of clinical services research, relevant research methods, and professional skills.
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