The proposed research training program is designed to prepare pre-doctoral trainees and postdoctoral fellows in the development and testing of theory-based interventions for preventing and/or managing chronic illness. Chronic illnesses are major health concerns in the United States. To be accepted and have the intended effects, nursing interventions must incorporate complex factors related to vulnerability and resilience, plus be appropriate for ethnic/racial minorities and other populations who can experience health disparities. Interventions for these populations need to be multifaceted, include variables that characterize vulnerability and resilience, and consider factors that can reduce, modify, or enhance vulnerability and resilience. In order to address this expanded definition, we will focus on two more areas, family and biomarkers as antecedents, and also enhance trainee and fellow research experience and coursework. The program leadership will include the Program Director and two co-directors. Fifty-nine (59) participating faculty will include 21 Core, seven Contributing and 10 Mentored faculty members from the School of Nursing, plus 21 Interdisciplinary faculty members from across the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. Enhancements to the usual doctoral program for pre-doctoral trainees will include two additional required courses plus specific recommended research courses, more hours of experience with faculty research, and augmented research advisement. For postdoctoral trainees, the program will include required coursework, involvement in an interdisciplinary research center, experience with faculty research, opportunities to conduct independent research, and research advisement. All will receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Trainees will be admitted at different levels including BSN-PhD (fast track), MS-PhD, and postdoctoral. The duration of the proposed training for each level will be two years. Over the requested five year funding period, we will support 17-18 pre-doctoral trainees and 10 postdoctoral fellows. We anticipate that the pre-doctoral trainees will be enrolled in one of the first two years of doctoral study in nursing during the proposed training program, and that postdoctoral fellows will be relatively recent recipients (level of experience = 0-4) of a doctorate in nursing or a related discipline.
Chronic illnesses are major health problems in the United States. Nurses can address this problem by creating and testing ways to help people lower their risk of getting a chronic illness and/or lessen the impact of actual chronic illness on their health and well being. The main reason for the proposed training program is to give nurses the research skills and experiences they need to develop and test ways to help people prevent and manage chronic illnesses, especially people who are at higher risk for chronic illness and who have less contact with health care than most people.
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