This application proposes continued support for the Lessons for Success program, which provides expert mentoring and guidance on grant writing and professional competencies to 30 early-career scientists in communication sciences and disorders, and related disciplines, annually. Through a 2- day conference and subsequent mentoring opportunities, Lessons for Success, now in its tenth year, has been effective in helping promising, early-stage scientists to compete successfully for research funding. The scientific base of the discipline has been strengthened through the Lessons for Success program as, within 2 years of participation in the Lessons for Success program, 39% of the participants successfully competed for NIH funding and 94% were successful in obtaining funding across all sources to which they applied (i.e., Veterans Administration, National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, American-Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, intramural and NIH mechanisms). Through a combination of presentations, mock grant reviews, small group discussions, and one-on-one mentoring sessions, participants gain knowledge about grantsmanship and professional competencies that contribute positively to their research productivity and career satisfaction. As mentors work with proteges at the conference to develop 1-year and 5-year plans with timelines, and then provide ongoing mentoring as these plans unfold, Lessons for Success participants become well oriented to the milestones of a research career and well coached on how to successfully achieve these milestones. Outcomes data is collected at three intervals following their participation in the conference: immediately, 2 years, and 5 years after the conference. The data provide feedback about the annual conference and information about the participants'progress in meeting their research goals, their funding success, and their retention in a research career. Lessons for Success aims to advance the research career development, scholarly productivity, retention, and funding success of approximately 150 early-career scientists focused on research in communication sciences and disorders over the next 5 year funding cycle.
The Lessons for Success program is designed to strengthen the research workforce of scientists addressing communication sciences and disorders. Accomplished scientists selected from the Lessons for Success Steering Committee (11 members) and the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association's Research and Scientific Affairs Committee (nine members) are paired with 30 of the most promising early-career scientists annually to provide targeted and sustained mentoring and educational support. Through this five-year initiative, the quantity and quality of research addressing communication health will be substantially increased;thereby, improving outcomes for those with communication and related disorders.