In this competing renewal application, the Native Elder Research Center (NERC) seeks support for Program Years (PY) 16-20. NERC will retain its 3 Core components?an Administrative Core, a Native Investigator Development Program (NIDP), and an Analysis Core (previously known as the Methods and Measurement Core). Spero M. Manson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, and Director, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH), Anschutz Medical Center, University of Colorado Denver (UCD), serves as Principal Investigator, co-directs NERC with Dr. Dedra Buchwald, MD, and heads the Administrative Core. Dr. Manson, a medical anthropologist, is American Indian (Pembina Chippewa) and is nationally recognized for his research and leadership in areas directly relevant to all aspects of this Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR), particularly aging and health among Native elders. Dr. Buchwald, Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) and a specialist in Native health, directs the UW component of the Administrative Core. Together, the UCD and UW Administrative Core staffs provide direction and support, both day-to-day and long-term, to the other Cores.
The specific aims of the Administrative Core are to: 1) support the logistical operations of each Core, including: a) monitor adherence to standard personnel policies and procedures that follow UCD, UW, tribal, and Federal guidelines; b) integrate fiscal procedures across Core activities and projects; c) supervise fiscal aspects of career development and research efforts and provide detailed budgetary information to Core Directors and staff; d) prepare and disseminate Core program materials;and e) maintain Local Area Networks with integrated software and hardware configurations. 2) stimulate, coordinate, and monitor activities across Cores, including: a) ensure regular communication and coordination of activities; b) compile and distribute administrative and research documents from Native Investigators (NIs), Core Directors, Core and other faculty, and external consultants;and c) frequent review of individual Core action plans for timeliness and appropriateness. 3) supervise implementation of key decisions related to the research strategy, including: a) develop and oversee the NI recruitment, selection, assignment, and evaluation processes; b) coordinate and review NERC/RCMAR faculty involvement in activities across Cores; c) formalize agreements with local agencies and community participants in Pilot Studies; d) oversee the administrative aspects of the NI Pilot Study plans, including review, approval, and monitoring of Pilot Study budgets and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals;and e) continue to seek collaborative links within Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) recipients, other RCMAR centers, and other aging-related research scientists. 4) facilitate program planning and review, including: a) support the ongoing process and outcome evaluation of NERC; b) create verbal and written reports on NERC progress (e.g.. Program Emphases and Outcomes Report, continuation applications, special requests) for the RCMAR Coordinating Center and the National Institute on Aging;and c) maintain active collaborative links with the RCMAR Coordinating Center. 5) sustain and expand community outreach and engagement, including: a) support outreach to tribal colleges and universities;and b) participate in the planning, convening, and reporting of tribal and Indian Health Service (IHS)-sponsored community research conferences. We note that the mandated funding reductions have necessitated a series of changes in scope for the Administrative Core from previous program years. Between the 2nd and 3rd cycles, funding was reduced from $600,000/year to $500,000/year. That reduction forced us to absorb the functions of the Community Liaison Core, which had been an independent component of our Center in the initial 2 periods of support, within the Administrative Core. The additional reduction of support available for the 4th RCMAR cycle, to $400,000/year, requires further reductions in NERC's community outreach and engagement activities in order to ensure the integrity of the NIDP and Analysis Core efforts. Yet, we remain committed and realistic. The proposed Administrative Core staff, drawn from the UCD and UW partners in this renewal, will engage in a broad range of logistical operations (e.g., scheduling, communication, personnel matters, expenditures, and monitoring);coordination of efforts across all Cores through a Coordinating Committee comprised of the Core Directors;key strategic decisions, program planning and review;and community outreach and engagement.
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