3E. Training Core Principal Investigators: Jani C. Ingrann, PhD, Associate Professor, NAU Margaret M. Briehl, PhD, Professor, UACC The overall goal of the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP) is to eliminate cancer disparities in Native Americans of the southwest. The University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) as NACP, partner with tribal communities to develop research, outreach, and training activities aimed at defining and eliminating obstacles to health equity in areas of Native American cancer incidence, mortality, and survivorship. The overall goal of the proposed NACP Training Core is to provide Native American students with mentoring and research experiences of importance to their own communities to help them achieve their individualized career development plans in cancer-related research. The proposed program will be jointly led by Northern Arizona University and UACC. The proposed program will partner with institutionalized and/or currently funded programs at NAU and UACC to enhance the opportunities for Native American students, faculty, and staff to develop their research training in cancer-related biomedical fields. The proposed core was developed based on the evaluation of previous NACP training activities. We plan to continue one-on-one student research experiences with faculty as well as establish a structured professional development plan for all those involved with NACP (students, staff, faculty). The achievements of the previous two-funding cycles include training 317 total students of which 189 were Native American. Our 6-year baccalaureate graduation rate for NACP Native American students for the past funding cycle was 63% which is substantially higher than the national average for Native American students at 38%. Additionally, we have secured external funding for activities that were developed by NACP allowing our Core to increase our training capacity. We propose to build on this success by implementing activities aimed at transitioning a greater number of Native American students into graduate programs. The synergy between the Outreach, Research, and Training Cores is key to addressing health disparities for Native American communities. The Training Core provides assistance for the Outreach and Developmental Cores for recruitment and retention of Native American students for projects that both train the students in research methods and utilize their talents to enhance the projects with their knowledge of culture and community. The Training Core facilitates a number of activities that allow students at all levels (from incoming freshmen to graduate students) to be involved in NACP projects. The Training Core will work directly with Native American student services as well as research and outreach investigators at both NAU and UA to identify and recruit Native American students for specific projects that match the talents of the students and the needs of the projects. Further, the Training Core will work directly with the students on independent development plans to assist them in their pursuit of advanced degrees that will train them to address cancer health disparities in their communities.
Specific Aims for the proposed Training Core are:
Specific Aim 1) Mentor Native American students to succeed in their undergraduate studies and expose them to hands-on research and Native American role models. Our goal each year will be to expose 13 Native American students to hands-on research experiences per year, and an additional 50 Native American students to cancer-related research through other activities. We will aim for a 75% graduation rate for these students.
Specific Aim 2) Provide activities to successfully transition Native American undergraduate students into advanced degree programs which will train them to address cancer health disparities in their communities. Our goal is to engage 22 Native American students per year. For the full project period, we are aiming to successfully mentor at least 25 Native American to transition into an advanced degree program.
Specific Aim 3) Mentor NACP junior faculty and provide cultural competency training in partnership with the Outreach Core for all NACP faculty and staff
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