There are a disproportionate number of researchers who are pursuing careers in bipolar disorder. Nearly two in 100 Americans have this devastating illness, yet investigation in this area has been continually under represented in mental health research. For junior investigators interested in the study of bipolar disorder, the professional research network is small, and few departments have researchers who have interest or experience in this area. Increased energy and resource should be directed toward enticing and sustaining the next generation of basic and clinical scientists who conduct bipolar research. Specifically, emphasis should be placed on """"""""turning points"""""""" or those critical time points when we might lose potential clinical or basic researchers such as during the transition to independent investigation. A national training program with mentors who span the translational continuum of bipolar research will enhance opportunities and strengthen connection for these budding scientists. In the spring of 2005, a pilot Career Development Institute (CDI) for Bipolar Disorder was carried out with great success, leading to the development of a revised CDI for Bipolar Disorder. The proposed Research CDI for Bipolar Disorder is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, investigators at the NIMH, and core faculty who represent multiple academic institutions across the country. This training program is designed to improve and augment the research training for promising junior investigators, including those interested in basic and neuroscience, academic psychiatrists and psychologists, and health services researchers. The goals of the CDI for Bipolar Disorder are to enhance their repertoire of research """"""""survival skills,"""""""" providing continuing support in their transition to independent investigation, fostering shared learning experiences with other investigators at similar developmental stages, and establishing a network of junior investigators and senior mentors across the country interested in bipolar research. This goal will be achieved through an annual intensive 3-day training program coupled with annual booster sessions where senior researchers will provide updates on new methods in psychiatric research and emerging trends in bipolar research; teach strategies for shortening the time interval between the end of research training and the receipt of initial extramural grant support; foster relationships with established investigators of bipolar disorder who will work over the long term as mentors or consultants; and promote relationships with other developing investigators to facilitate peer support and collaborative efforts. By training a critical mass of bipolar researchers, we ensure continued discovery, scholarly interchange and transmission, and the effective dissemination of new knowledge in this important yet understudied area of mental health. We believe that the Research CDI for Bipolar Disorder will become a national resource to help reverse the decline in the number of dedicated clinical and basic scientists in this area of research. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Conference (R13)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-CNF-W (01))
Program Officer
Sanislow, Charles A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code