Mechanisms for Enhancing Scholarly Achievements (MESA) Abstract The purpose of this randomized, controlled prospective-cohort-longitudinal study is to increase understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to the transition of a diverse group of Academic Health Science Center graduate students who are enrolled in clinical programs of study (medicine, nursing, dentistry, allied health, and public health) into planned pursuit of a clinical research scientist career. The framework for this initial test of an integrated series of interventions designed to build interdisciplinary research teams has a cognitive learning theory assumptive base specifying intra-person and organization resources that make it possible to reach desired scholarly achievement goals despite exposure to learning anxiety and uncertainty that accompanies entry into a team science learning frame. The theory informed intervention strategies incorporate the following elements: """""""" Motivation direction and strength interventions to foster the development of personal research career goals; """""""" Faculty and community mentor pool that link student participation with an interdisciplinary research team; """""""" Research team building support to promote collaboration and healthy competition; """""""" Individual capacity building essential cognitive skills (problem solving, cognitive reframing, delay in gratification and belief in self relative to research self-efficacy); """""""" Participation across five semesters in team-based research projects directed toward health promotion/restoration for persons from vulnerable populations; """""""" A scholars'seminar series (across five semesters) focused on essential research content and proficiencies.
Five aims and 10 linked hypotheses address a test of outcomes and modeling of the proposed learning process that begins with Motivator Direction and Strength and ends with Scholarly Activity and Career Path plan.
Little is known about the factors that influence the pursuit of a research career by minority persons. The proposed study will add to what is known about key elements, the mechanisms, which promote the achievement of successful research careers of minority persons who are returning for a graduate degree in medicine, nursing, dentistry, allied health and public health. The potential impact of having evidence supported interventions that demonstrate the ability to increase the number of minority clinical researchers is the potential to more quickly and efficiently to produce a research workforce that better addresses the health needs of vulnerable populations.
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