The Research Education Component (REC) will cultivate a dynamic learning environment to advance substantive knowledge, methodological skills, and the overall research experience of junior faculty and fellows around aging and the primary care management of older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). The REC will offer comprehensive, tailored research education activities to leverage geriatrics principles and train a primary care workforce to meet the nation's need to serve older Americans with MCC. With a significant shortage of geriatricians, the struggle of primary care practices to deliver high quality, cost- effective services to older Americans who are contending with MCC will worsen. The REC directors, other affiliated faculty and community mentors will help implement the Core's goals. The Pepper Scholars Program's (PSP) primary aim will be to: (1) Develop programs with robust mentoring teams to assess educational needs of junior faculty `Pepper Scholars', and provide them with personalized educational and career development opportunities for conducting research related to the care of older adults with MCC. Our mentoring faculty bridge disciplines, centers, departments and schools across Northwestern University and partner with an extensive set of healthcare system, other academic, community, government organizations and industry partners to train future leaders in aging & geriatrics research. The PSP's secondary aims are to: (2) Provide Northwestern OAIC trainees with hands-on experiences leading a funded research project that will give them preliminary data in support of their larger research agenda. To do this, we have strategically paired the REC with the Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core (PESC). Selected Pepper Scholars will receive R03 equivalent funding and `in-kind' support from three innovative Research Cores (Design, Measurement, Analytics) that will provide state-of-the-art methodological guidance; (3) Link Pepper Scholars and other trainees to a broad network of academic, healthcare, community, government and industry partners to expand their professional connections through the efforts of the Information Dissemination Core. REC and PESC faculty will coordinate the training and pilot programs, tailor mentor teams, and track educational growth of trainees. Through a competitive process, we have already selected the 1st wave of Pepper Scholars (Drs. Rowe, O'Brien, Kim, O'Conor, Rafferty). Our REC includes a robust group of experienced faculty mentors with broad expertise, and a research education infrastructure to exceptionally train the next generation of innovative aging research leaders.

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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Northwestern University at Chicago
United States
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