This proposal seeks continuation funds to train research scientists studying the development and treatment/prevention of psychopathology in children, adolescents, and adults. The primary goals of this training program are to produce research scientists who will contribute to the state of knowledge about (a) the psychosocial and neurobiological processes in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, and (b) the translation of this basic knowledge into empirically supported interventions for treating and preventing psychopathology. Method: (a) The foundation of the program is apprenticeship-based research mentoring in which trainees receive direct guidance by at least two primary faculty mentors. Individualized programs are developed for trainees through courses and workshops, (b) All trainees participate in an ongoing weekly proseminar attended by program directors and faculty. This proseminar provides a foundation in the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying different types of psychopathology, the translation of this basic knowledge into intervention strategies, development of normal and abnormal behavior, research design and quantitative methods, minority and cross-cultural issues, the responsible conduct of research, and professional development, (c) A Visiting Scholars series involves intensive two-day meetings with different world-class scholars to discuss the visitor's research and for trainees to receive consultation on their own work. These visits have led to highly stimulating and mutually beneficial discussions and collaborations. Results: During the twenty years of funding thus far, this program has been successful in achieving its goals. Seventy-seven percent of the 46 trainees funded by this program in the last decade currently hold research and/or teaching positions in universities and medical schools or continue their research training. Trainees have authored over 300 peer reviewed articles and 500 conference presentations, have received several prestigious awards, and 48% have been funded as the PI or co-PI of grants from the Federal or State government, Foundations, or University funds. The quality of research at Vanderbilt has been enhanced, as indicated by faculty feedback and an increase in research grant funds awarded to program faculty during the past five years. Plan: Funds are requested for two types of trainees: (a) advanced predoctoral trainees (four positions per year) and (b) postdoctoral trainees (three positions per year). The program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the field in that trainees come from diverse backgrounds and faculty represent clinical, developmental, social, cognitive, and quantitative psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, pediatrics, pharmacology, sociology, and education. The program is a joint venture of the Departments of Psychology and Human Development (Peabody College) and Psychology (Arts and Science), administered through the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University.
Consistent with the mission of NIMH, this research training program aims to produce scientific experts who can (a) produce, integrate, and disseminate new knowledge about fundamental neurobiological and psychosocial mechanisms underlying a range of psychiatric conditions, and (b) translate this basic research into interventions for treating and preventing psychopathology in children, adolescents, and adults.
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