There is an urgent need to prepare nursing faculty to advance science addressing global health priorities and prepare the next generation of nurse clinicians and faculty. The University of Utah proposes to expand our well-established doctoral program and experience in postdoctoral training by adding formal interdisciplinary research training in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care to our foundational core curriculum. This training program will address the National Institute of Nursing Research's strategic areas including health promotion and disease prevention;improving quality of life through self-management, symptom management and caregiving;and end-of-life research. The program objectives are 1)To provide outstanding interdisciplinary didactic research training in the fundamental theories, methods, and skills necessary to conduct research in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care;2)To facilitate the ability of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees to develop research expertise through ongoing project-oriented research experience in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care that integrates mentoring, practical experiences, feedback, and critique;3).To prepare postdoctoral trainees for independent academic careers as scientists in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care;and 4) To mentor all trainees in the ethical conduct of research, especially in diverse vulnerable populations, including the elderly and individuals facing serious illness and death. The University's funded interdisciplinary research program is robust and offers excellent opportunities for trainees to learn by engagement with research in action. The proposed training program is timely and leverages the opportunities to learn from three R01-level projects that comprise our Program Project Grant (P01) funded by the National Cancer Institute in 2010. This research has as its foundation an interdisciplinary approach and unites the three foci of this training program: cancer, aging, and end-of life care. Fifteen primary mentors and 15 participating faculty from eight departments will support the training. The goal of the Training Program is to recruit and train two predoctoral and two postdoctoral fellows during each of the first 4 years. We will provide at least 2 years of training to each fellow. Our goal is that a leas one predoctoral fellow each year will be enrolled in our BS-to-PhD program (these are sometimes referred to as fast- track programs). It is anticipated that a total of eight predoctoral and eight postdoctoral fellows will participate in this Training Program during the 5-year period.
The unprecedented aging of our population will have a profound impact on health and the need for health services. The need for evidence on how to help elders remain healthy, preserve function and quality of life, prevent falls and adverse events, live with chronic disease, and die free of pain, other symptoms and suffering is more important than ever before. The burden of cancer falls disproportionately on older Americans and evidence is needed to develop the evidence to help individuals cope with the treatment and its sequelae as well as support patients and their caregivers who are coping with the end-of-life.
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