This application requests continued support of the Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute (IRTI) on Hispanic Drug Abuse (5 R25DA026401) that has developed and implemented a research education program aimed at promoting the career development of pre-doctoral and early career clinically focused scientists interested in conducting research that affects the Hispanic population. This comprehensive and coordinated effort focuses on providing research experience and increasing the skills required for the preparation and submission of competitive research applications for NIH extramural funding. This renewal application expands the scope of the IRTI program to include international clinically focused fellows from Mexico. Building upon the success and accomplishments of the existing IRTI, the specific aims of the IRTI are to (1) Continue to provide an improved educational training opportunity to enhance the skills for conducting interdisciplinary Hispanic drug research and developing applications for NIH funding among pre-doctoral, postdoctoral and early career faculty members (fellows) through the implementation of an 11-day intensive summer research training program; (2) Expand the scope of the IRTI program to include international, clinically focused fellows from Mexico that will serve to strengthen their capacity o conduct independent drug research and provide opportunities for U.S. and Mexico fellows to share knowledge that may develop into research activities aimed at enhancing bi-national public health efforts to address drug abuse and addiction; (3) Continue to execute an improved mentoring plan structured around a team of interdisciplinary senior faculty mentors who would be accessible and available to provide selected fellows with focused mentoring and continued support; (4) Continue to provide an improved networking structure and process that will assist fellows in building and maintaining relationships and communication with leading experts in the field of Hispanic drug research and fellow peers. Mentoring activities will focus on guiding and assisting the fellows in achieving benchmarks of progress including: a) Academic Career Progress; b) Scientific Publications; c) Scientific Presentations; and d) Research Funding. These outcomes will be facilitated through various types of support provided by the IRTI including: Mentor Commitment, Travel to Mentor Institution, E-Mentoring Technologies, Conferences/Workshops, and IRTI Mentoring Annual Meeting. The complex and technical nature of contemporary drug abuse research and the growing demands for drug-related knowledge across several disciplines requires that competitive research investigators develop a broad-based set of scientific knowledge and scientific research skills that will facilitate the conduct of interdisciplinary drug abuse research in the interest of public health. Building upon the existing mentoring and networking success, the proposed IRTI renewal will continue to fill the gap in knowledge on how to develop effective research incubators that will increase the number of minority drug abuse researchers.
This application seeks funding to continue the Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute (IRTI) on Hispanic Drug Abuse that seeks to promote the career development of underrepresented pre-doctoral, postdoctoral and early career clinically-focused scientists in the U.S. and Mexico interested in conducting research as it affects the Hispanic population. Hispanics face unique health challenges, and efforts to increase the number of well-qualified researchers prepared to conduct clinical research are vital to reducing health disparities among this underserved population. The complex and technical nature of contemporary drug abuse research and the growing demands for drug-related knowledge across several disciplines requires that competitive clinical research investigators develop a broad-based set of scientific knowledge and scientific research skills that will facilitae the conduct of interdisciplinary drug abuse research.
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