Our competing renewal proposal seeks funds to continue to support attendance of Trainees and Young Investigators (YIs) at the Annual Meeting of the Perinatal Research Society (PRS). The PRS provides career development through two separate, but interrelated endeavors. One is a two-day grant writing program funded by R13HD079163 which occurs immediately preceding the Annual Meeting of the PRS. The second is the PRS YI Program funded by R13HD036244. It is the second program that we seek continued NIH R13 support.
The Specific Aims of the Annual Meeting of the PRS that foster career development are based in its design and execution as follows:
Aim 1) YI acknowledgement and interactions with PRS Members. PRS members are typically experienced faculty and mentors, with many leaders in the field of Reproductive Biology. Numerous activities are designed to encourage interactions between the YIs and PRS Members.
Aim 2) The speaker program. Speakers present the latest research in their field. All presentations are in one room and there are no ?concurrent? sessions.
Aim 3) The early career speaker program. Three or four YIs give presentations at the Annual Meeting.
Aim 4) Ongoing mentoring through the Associate Membership process. In recognition of the long career path to independence we realize failing to support the YI's after the end of the meeting is not the best path to success. We follow up with a Council review of all YI attendees and offer continued mentorship by Associate Membership of the society. This allows attendance and full participation in future years. We also follow up at least twice a year with email contacts to monitor career progress for workshop attendees. We have invested in the PRS Associate Member Paper Prize, which is given to the top three papers published by an associate member in the preceding year. Winners are provided complimentary registration to the next PRS meeting. Finally, as Associate Members obtain their independent grant funding, they transition to Regular Membership in the PRS. The need for this kind of opportunity for early career development is significant because of the challenging current academic and funding environment. The impact of our YI program is that it allows participants to make tangible and immediate progress in developing and expressing their research ideas and then translating that into scientific presentations, collaborations, and new mentor-mentee relationships. It is in the Main Meeting that they become integrated into the society.
Perinatal medicine and biology has major public health consequences with the growing recognition that perinatal life is a major determinant of disease in adult life. The PRS Young Investigator Program enhances and accelerates the development of young investigators in the field of perinatal medicine and biology through grantsmanship, communication skills, and networking opportunities. This means we are helping ensure a future pool of outstanding physician-scientists and basic-scientists to improve health and disease during the perinatal period, consistent with the mission of NIH.