The overall objective of this program is to provide in-depth research training to qualified individuals and to prepare them for independent academic careers in the research fields of heart (and vascular), lung, hematologic (blood), and sleep (HLBS) disorders/diseases. This proposal responds to RFA-OD-11-003 which identifies the need to enhance the clinician-investigator workforce. We propose that the Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) Program at Mayo Clinic will meet this critical need by educating the next generation of clinician-investigators in a highly supportive environment with strong faculty, leading to the development of competent investigators in the interdisciplinary field of heart, lung blood and sleep disorders (HLBS) disorders/diseases research. The StARR award will not only provide incremental value by allowing us to increase the number of resident investigators currently accepted through the institutionally funded Clinician Investigator Training Program (CITP), but also will change the landscape of this training by providing, (i) Focused support to medical residents doing research dedicated to HLBS disorders/diseases; (ii) Infrastructure and faculty from research-rich departments and divisions (Internal Medicine, Cardiology) to residency training programs that are clinically strong, but underrepresented in the research arena (Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Surgery); (iii) Support and infrastructure-including additional funding opportunities (K38) to qualified and successful StARR graduates- for a seamless transition from resident investigator to independent R01-funded research career scientist, which will complement our institutional efforts and resources, (iv) Skill- building for research preceptors, both for resident investigators and junior StARR faculty, thus ensuring an ongoing strong mentors for HLBS disorders/ diseases at Mayo Clinic and v) focused effort on recruitment of women and underrepresented minorities. Our efforts focusing on recruitment while embracing diversity, education, mentorship, and program evaluation translate into the following specific aims: to attract and retain resident-investigators from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds for academic careers in HLBS disorders/diseases research (Aim 1); to train and prepare resident-investigators for independent research careers (Aim 2); and to evaluate the effectiveness and success of the Mayo Clinic StARR Program (Aim 3). In summary, the proposed StARR grant addresses a critical void, and will train a new generation of clinician scientists with the necessary skills to address the complex field of HLBS disorders/diseases that crosses research fields of expertise and medical specialties. The training will take place in a highly supportive environment with experienced mentors, leading to the development of well-prepared investigators in the interdisciplinary field of HLBS disorders/diseases research.
In the research fields of heart (and vascular), lung, hematologic (blood), and sleep (HLBS) disorders/diseases, there is an increasing demand for investigators with training in multiple disciplines. However, fewer and fewer physicians are pursuing research careers. We propose that the Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) Program at Mayo Clinic will enhance the clinician-investigators workforce by educating the next generation of clinician investigators in a highly supportive environment with strong faculty, leading to the development of competent investigators in the interdisciplinary field of HLBS disorders/diseases research.