The Perinatal Research Society (PRS) Young Investigator Training Workshop, held the two days prior to the PRS main-meeting, provides an opportunity for young investigators to engage with senior, established investigators in an active learning environment. Young investigators attending the workshop receive protected time for immersion in active writing and oral presentation, accompanied by immediate one-on-one discussion with established investigators who have track-records of NIH funding and mentoring. The current competitiveness of the extramural funding environment magnifies the importance of training young investigators in the art of writing successful grant proposals and effectively communicating their research and its impact. Each workshop is attended by 15 to 17 young investigators and ~6 faculty-mentors drawn from the PRS membership. This young investigator-to-faculty mentor ratio ensures substantial interactions. Young investigators bring an identified research project and draft of the project's Specific Aims page, and identify their research mentor and funding agency. An innovative strength of our Workshop is its immersive, active-writing and oral presentation design. Active writing is by an iterative writing process during which each young investigator's grant section is critiqued one-on-one by a faculty-mentor, followed by revision and new one-on- one critique by a different faculty-mentor. Didactic instruction is used, but minimally to introduce the functions of the sections of an NIH grant. In parallel, the elements of clear writing are applied to oral presentations that are practiced and critiqued to improve clarity that is targeted for a diverse audience. The goal of these iterative processes is clear writing and oral presentation that confuse the fewest readers/listeners, and conveys the scientific premise, significance, innovation, and impact on the field. 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. Our Workshop's impact is to enhance and accelerate the development of young investigators in the field of perinatal medicine and biology through grantsmanship and communication skills.
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 Training Workshop enhances and accelerates the development of young investigators in the field of perinatal medicine and biology through grantsmanship and communication skills. 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.