The proposed Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention will address childhood obesity prevention through a coordinated, community-based approach targeting modifiable individual risk behaviors, environmental risk factors, and state and national risk reduction policies with the goal of first halting the rise, then reducing the rate, of childhood obesity in Arkansas. Recognizing that it will take a fully coordinated and multi-faceted approach to have an impact on current rates, we have developed a strategy through the Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention that brings together the collective expertise of multiple investigators, and multiple organizations in the state, to address the problem. This Administrative and Scientific Support Core is designed to provide the basic operational underpinning to support the research efforts of the Center. The goals are to establish and operate the center; implement a mentoring and career development plan to support rolling cohorts of promising junior investigators, and help them to achieve independent investigator status within two years of COBRE funding; and to expand and strengthen the infrastructure of the Center over five years by establishing and/or enhancing three cores; tracking data regarding junior investigator progress; recruitment and guidance of subsequent replacement junior investigators; the number and type of multi-investigator, interdisciplinary applications developed as a result of Center collaborations and mentoring activities; tracking of volume and usage of core facilities and services by Center investigators; and evaluation by the internal Executive Committee and the External Advisory Committee of all Center components. This Core will further support efforts to sustain the Center through the development of subsequent multi-disciplinary grant applications.
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