The dramatic growth of the older adult population in the United States dictates the need to develop and train a biomedical research workforce to address the challenges of population aging. Because population growth among older adults is greatest for racial and ethnic minorities, it is particularly critical to develop scientists with expertise investigating racial and ethnic disparities among older adults. Therefore, the Research Education Component (REC) of the University of Florida (UF) RCMAR aims to establish an innovative research training and mentoring program designed for early career investigators from underrepresented backgrounds who are conducting research addressing our thematic focus of biopsychosocial drivers of pain and disability among older adults. The REC will enact a multimodal recruitment strategy to attract promising investigators from underrepresented backgrounds. Training will emphasize competency-based development of skills for conducting high-impact social and behavioral research addressing biopsychosocial contributions to pain and disability among older adults. The REC will be led by Co-Leaders with extensive experience in training and mentoring early career investigators and will be supported by an outstanding interdisciplinary pool of mentors who are committed to supporting the career development of RCMAR Scientists. To accomplish its goals, the REC will work closely with the other RCMAR Cores and with other UF programs that provide career development support, including the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the UF Older Adults Independence Center (OAIC) Junior Scholars Program, and the Integrative and Multidisciplinary Pain and Aging Research Training (IMPART) Program. Through these efforts, the REC will achieve its overall objective of supporting the advancement of RCMAR Scientists toward becoming independent scientists and future leaders as pain and aging researchers. In order to promote the career development of RCMAR Scientists, the REC will ensure that each RCMAR Scientist is supported by a committed multidisciplinary mentoring team. All RCMAR Scientists will work with their mentoring team to develop an individual development plan (IDP) tailored to their training needs and career goals and objectives. Further, the REC will provide didactic and experiential training tailored to each RCMAR Scientist to facilitate their career development and successful transition to independence and leadership. The REC will also implement a Pilot Studies Program to support RCMAR Scientists' research addressing biopsychosocial contributions to pain and disability among older adults. Finally, the REC will monitor and evaluate the outcomes of its research and career development activities, which will include tracking RCMAR Scientists' publications and future grant awards, as well as evaluating both processes and outcomes of mentoring and career development activities supported by the REC. Successful implementation of the REC will ultimately improve the health of older adults by enhancing the diversity of the aging research workforce and generating important new knowledge regarding the biopsychosocial drivers of and interventions for later life pain and disability.

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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University of Florida
United States
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