This proposal requests support for the five-year continuation of our NIMH-funded institutional training grant, ?Clinical and Translational Research Training in Late-Life Mood Disorders? (T32 MH019986), Years 21-25. The primary goal of this two-year fellowship (three years in selected case) is to provide rigorous training in the basic foundations and methodologic tools necessary for successful clinical and translational investigation in geriatric mental health and psychiatry. The fellowship is designed for post-residency psychiatrists and PhDs in the behavioral sciences (four post-doctoral fellows annually). Consistent with NIMH priorities, the focus of training in the new funding period will continue to be translational and treatment development research, as well as interventions and mental health services research. Research training is designed to be broadly multi disciplinary. The most important components of the training program are apprenticeship with an academically successful mentor and a structured training plan facilitated by a network of committed faculty. In most cases, this leads to faculty appointments and successful competition for extramural funding. Trainees develop core skills and knowledge in grant writing and research project management by participating in a weekly career and research development seminar, and focus on issues specific to geriatric mental health research in twice monthly meetings with the program directors. A wide range of didactic offerings is available and is prescribed on an individual basis. All fellows participate in ongoing training in the responsible conduct of research. The proposed training activities take place within the Geriatric Psychiatry Program at the University of Pittsburgh. The second goal of the program is to provide research training opportunities, in the form of a summer research elective, to rising second-year medical students, in order to attract a diverse and talented group of medical students into psychiatric research careers. We propose to continue funding two summer research elective slots annually through this training program, as well as a one year-long medical student fellowship to the most promising student in each summer's program. Both components of the program, pre- and post-doctoral, are part of a broad research training strategy at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry, to respond to a national shortage of researchers in geriatric mental health. The Department fosters many research career development activities for students and faculty at all levels. This training grant both contributes to and benefits from this developmental strategy.
This training grant aims to grow the field of geriatric mental health investigators capable of conducting independent, multidisciplinary, team-based research in translational, interventions, and services research to the benefit of older Americans at risk for or already living with mood and anxiety disorders.
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