This is a proposal to build the Intensive Rehabilitation Research Grant Writing Workshops in the United States more commonly known as TIGRR (Training in Grantsmanship in Rehabilitation Research) into a yearlong (12 month) grant writing and career development education program. TIGRR was funded under the T15 mechanism. The T15 mechanism is no longer available to renew the NIH funding for the TIGRR workshop. We view this as an opportunity to build upon and enhance TIGRR by renewing in the format of a yearlong R25 education program allowing us to more completely build the careers of young investigators by helping them prepare and submit proposals, and prepare them for success following receipt of grant awards. Research in Rehabilitation Sciences is critical to health, particularly as relates to aging populations and those with disability but has lagged other areas of biomedical research. This is due to some extent by a shortage of well-trained researchers and because mentorship often focuses on clinical aspects of practice and research, rather than on skills needed to acquire and manage the funding that is required for a successful research career. Ideally, research training begins in the post-baccalaureate and post-doctoral years. However, many of these potential investigators begin their rehabilitation careers in the clinical ?trenches?. We are proposing a yearlong research education experience that includes an intensive grant writing program that uses TIGRR workshops (which have been refined over the course of the past 5 years) as the centerpiece. Unlike passive, entirely didactic grantwriting training experiences, selected mentees will have intensive one-on-one mentorship including extensive critiquing of their proposals and will gain hands-on experience with critiquing their peers' proposals. Building upon the past five years of the successful TIGRR workshops, we will bring together a nationally recognized group of mentors as faculty for this yearlong program. This yearlong education program will provide the expertise and support to be successful at the national level in obtaining research grant support and guidance in management of multiple grants and lab personnel, and to gain experience in critiquing grant proposals. During the centerpiece workshop, mentees will receive guidance in grant writing, clinical trial design, biostatistics, informatics, collaboration, grantsmanship, budgeting, and career development through lectures and individual consultation. One-on-one mentorship is the most important part of the program. We will be vigilant in our follow-up with mentees and their home institution mentorship team after the workshop to maximize the chance for success, and then continue to prepare the mentees for submission and/or resubmission by having grant review panels made up of mentors and mentees. Thus, we will develop a cadre of well-trained, rehabilitation researchers whose expertise will foster better rehabilitation research. Importantly, we will also work to increase the representation of women, persons with disability, and underserved minorities.
Research in Rehabilitation Sciences is critical to health, particularly as relates to aging populations and those with disability. However, rehabilitation science research has lagged other areas of biomedical research possibly because of the clinical focus of practice and research. We are proposing aggressive strategies to remedy the shortage of fundable junior faculty, especially those from underrepresented groups (women, minorities, persons with disability) within the field of rehabilitation research.