The purpose of this project is to continue the Minority International Research Training program at Florida International University in Miami. Nursing faculty partner and collaborate in joint research with foreign faculty at the University "La Sapienza" Rome, Italy;National University of Colombia;Institute of Psychiatry, London, the Private University of Witten/Herdecke and Bielefeld University, Germany;and Khon Kaen University in Thailand. All partners provide minority undergraduate and graduate students with international clinical research training focused on disparities in the care of chronic illness patients and families (National Goals I, II, Healthy People 2010). Students are part of a faculty research team before their travel and until graduation. They choose a topic of interest within the area of health disparity in chronic illness care and continue the focus in a foreign country with an international mentor. The faculty partners plan collaborative research with vulnerable families to give students a multi-cultural perspective. Students take preparatory research courses focused on research design and conduct culture and health, skill development, ethics, team roles, and special issues in health disparities research. Over the 5 years of the grant, we plan to recruit and mentor 40 undergraduate and 10 graduate students in nursing and other health professions. Once selected, the students are mentored throughout their educational program. They participate actively and contribute to the dissemination of products of the research collaboration with the foreign partners through publications and presentations, and work toward a research career. A variety of methods help to achieve these goals: the individual mentoring relationship, guidance in the conduct of research both abroad and at FIU, an ongoing research activity group, course assignments, mentoring in writing papers and preparation for professional presentations. Ultimately, these young researchers will have an effect on the quality of care of chronically ill patients and their families in populations suffering health disparities, based on their intensive research exposure and work with faculty skilled in promoting excellence in minority students. This project functions in an environment where 83% of the undergraduate and 73% of the graduate students in the college are of ethnic diversity and live in Florida where health disparities are significant.
This opportunity for mentored clinical international research training will fill a minority health researcher gap by providing nursing and health sciences students from minority populations with needed research skills in the area of chronic illness and the family. MHIRT students participate in research activities at home and abroad designed to promote a research career to address health disparities in minority populations and lead to new methods to improve culturally relevant care of underserved chronically ill patients and their families.
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