The Developmental Core (Core B) supports the overall mission of the PMHARC through its services focused on training, mentoring, and management of the pilot projects program. During the current funding cycle, Core B, in partnership with the Administrative Core and the PMHARC Executive Committee (EC) established a rigorous, efficient strategy for the solicitation and review of high priority pilot research focused on mental illness and HIV/AIDS. The role of the pilot projects program within the PMHARC is central to its overall mission and provides the framework for the delivery of much of the Center's training and mentoring services. Pilots are expected to pair experienced investigators with early career or transitional investigators. All Cores are expected to assist with the development of pilot concepts and proposals and if selected for funding, provide services to the pilot investigators and their projects at no cost, adding real value to each pilot. During this first funding cycle, the PMHARC invested 10% of its annual total costs to support pilot projects and a total of 26 projects have been funded thus far with support of up to $40,000 each. In all of the Core's services, priority is given to early career investigators and investigators from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Forty-four early career and transitioning investigators have been engaged in pilot projects thus far, 21% are from racial and ethnic minority groups and 61% are women. To assist with the recruitment of participants for the pilot projects, the Core established the bi-weekly recruitment support group. As a result of the success of this group in assisting with recruitment for HIV/AIDS research beyond the pilots, this service transitioned to become an ongoing service of the Community Engagement Core. During the current funding cycle, the Developmental Core established the monthly PMHARC Journal Club that provides a forum for presentation and discussion of significant research focused on mental illness and HIV/AIDS. The Journal Club is also used as a venue for pilot investigators to present findings, receive feedback on interpretation of data, plan for publication and subsequent grant submissions, and practice presentation skills. Core B also led the development and implementation of the first city-wide conference designed to increase awareness of HIV research taking place in Philadelphia and to promote research collaborations. The serves as a clearinghouse for related seminars and trainings offered both on and off campus. During the next funding cycle, we will build on the success of the pilot projects program by working with seven other centers and institutes on campus to co-sponsor pilot projects, expanding the scientific reach of the PMHARC and providing increased funds for larger projects. As more pilots are completed, there will be an increased opportunity to promote publication of findings and grant applications. The Core will continue to facilitate mentoring relationships and collaborations and provide ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the pilot projects program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
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University of Pennsylvania
United States
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