The goal of the Research Career and Development Core (RCDC) is to promote the development of future research leaders in the area of focus of this OAIC application: Integrating pathways affecting physical function for new approaches to disability prevention. The RCDC achieves this goal by recruiting, selecting, and then fostering, mentoring, and training promising, talented junior faculty who are committed to aging research focused on understanding mechanisms of function decline and developing strategies for its prevention among older Americans. The Core then provides and coordinates the resources needed for development of the essential skills required for an independent career conducting innovative multidisciplinary, translational research in aging. Detailed, specific research career development plans are created and tailored for each junior faculty mentee, including: a) a research project relevant to the theme of the OAIC, b) an explicit educational strategy emphasizing translational research, c) a formal mentorship program that uses a team approach, and d) a monitoring process that formally evaluates the progress of trainees using specific milestones, including generating, analyzing, and interpreting data;presentation of findings at national meetings;publication of findings in peer-reviewed journals;and timely submission of well-written, competitive grant proposals. The RCDC is led by a team of established, senior investigators with outstanding scientific, leadership, administrative, and mentoring skills and excellent track records of success in personally mentoring new and junior investigators. Their complementary skill sets and integration into the highest levels of other entities that are relevant to the Core's goals, both local and national, further strengthen and ensure success of the Core. The RCDC is well-integrated with all other OAIC cores, particularly the Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) and Biostatistics and Data Management Core (RC3). It collaborates closely with and integrates resources available from several other key entities at Wake Forest that focus on junior faculty career development. The Core further leverages resources by preparing its candidates for successfully competing for and obtaining independent, external career development funding. Research career development has been a core mission of the Wake Forest OAIC since its inception. Over the life of the Center, this has resulted in an outstanding record of success. The 19 junior faculty who previously completed support have subsequently received 50 independent research grant awards as PI and several have become national leaders in aging research. In this cycle, 7 out of 7 of the starting scholars have subsequently received external funding awards or have advanced in academic rank. In the first year of this proposal, the RCDC will support research career development of 5 promising, highly motivated junior faculty.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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