The goal of the UM OAIC Research Education Core (REC) is to recruit, select, support, mentor, and train junior faculty to become independent investigators in aging-related research and academic leaders in geriatrics and gerontology within their respective disciplines. A key additional objective is to train the next generation of investigators about the UM OAIC focus of how metabolic factors and inflammation interact with age-related diseases and comorbidities to determine key health outcomes related to mobility and functional status.
Aim 1. Recruit, select, and train REC Scholars We will support 4 REC Scholars per year of this award, two continuing and two new Scholars per year. The REC career development award ensures Scholars can protect their time for career development and research. Central to the training of each REC Scholar is a (1) a mentorship team with a primary mentor and at least one other secondary mentor from the Pepper Center leadership, (2) mentored research project, (3) formal seminars, (4) presentation of project results (works-in-progress in the Scholar?s first year and formal presentation in year 2) and (5) participation in the annual mock NIH study section. The REC works closely with the UM Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) to assist the Scholar in understanding how to translate basic findings into clinical research or clinical findings into mechanistic studies.
Aim 2. Provide career development enhancement for REC Scholars and other UM junior faculty In addition to training the REC Scholars, the Pepper Center will also serve as a rich resource for career development and advancing aging research conducted by the UM research community, with a focus on UM junior faculty development. The REC offers a seminar program in aging research, leadership, and career development; conducting the annual mock NIH study section research retreat program; and contributing to the annual Geriatrics Center-wide research symposium. REC career development enhancement activities help the REC Scholar apply basic findings to clinical investigation, explore mechanisms underlying clinical and epidemiological findings, and translate basic and clinical findings to a broader older adult community. The REC has designed the career development program for the REC Scholars with the capacity to include other UM junior faculty in aging research, such as PESC awardees.
Aim 3. Evaluate REC Scholar progress and mentorship The evaluation plan begins with designing each Scholar?s career development plan, which consists of discrete elements (regular meetings with mentors, writing, presentation at a national meeting, grant writing) customized to each Scholar?s needs depending on area of research. The REC will monitor publications and grant proposal output every 6 months, using the customized plan as the benchmark for progress.
This Aim i ncludes structured and qualitative evaluation of the mentor and mentee interactions.
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