Postdoctoral training is a major institutional strength at the Forsyth Institute with a 15 year history of success with our T32 award. We will build on that strength by providing an NIH-sponsored T90/R90 postdoctoral training program to develop a diverse group of committed, highly trained and competitive investigators from a pool of (a) US citizen and non-citizen dentists, with or without the PhD, who seek to obtain collaborative, multidisciplinary research training (basic, translational, or clinical) applicable to oral and craniofacial diseases, conditions and disorders, and (b) PhD?s who desire to develop careers in oral health research that will take advantage of the most current scientific and collaborative strategies. Trainees find principal research homes with one of 17 well-funded, published and training-experienced mentors in Affinity Groups of Applied Oral Science, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Microbiology and Mineralized Tissue Biology. Collaborative and multidisciplinary research is emphasized, in part, by recruiting trainees into collaborative investigations within or between these broadly focused Affinity Group settings. Opportunities for exposure to and possible joint interdisciplinary research exist in shared Forsyth/Broad Institute Postdoc Groups, biannual Boston Area Postdoctoral Research Days, and required presentations at annual AADR meetings. The program is guided by an Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), led by Dr. Thomas Van Dyke (Program Director) and Dr. Jacqueline Starr (Program Associate Director). Expert biannual program review is provided by an External Advisory Committee of Drs. James Beck (University of North Carolina), Jeffrey Ebersole (University of Kentucky) and Robert Quivey (University of Rochester). The program provides support for eight trainees with three years each of mentored research. Although strong emphasis is placed on the research component, trainees will take required courses/workshops through Harvard?s CTSC (Catalyst) in Responsible Conduct of Research, Elements of Grant Writing, Grant Review and Support, Maximizing the Mentor-Mentee Relationship, and Effectively Communicating Research. Additional elective and non-elective opportunities will be tailored to the individual's needs and programs. Forsyth-based tutorials and seminars in grantsmanship, grant writing skills, and successful teaching and presentation are each part of trainees? programs. There are also opportunities for mentoring high school student summer research which not only provides trainees with valuable mentoring experience, but also enriches the pipeline for those selecting research-intensive health-related careers in the future. Trainees? progress is reviewed weekly by the mentor, semiannually in the first year by program staff (annually thereafter for reappointment and guidance). An IAC member is assigned to each trainee for guidance and assistance in grant preparation/review. All trainees are required to prepare and submit a K or R grant application. Provision is made for informal and formal trainee feedback (current and post-program) and for trainee tracking following completion of the program.
This T90/R90 postdoctoral training program is intended to provide research training and research education experiences to US and non-US citizens, positioning them as investigators who can successfully compete for research funds in areas of oral health research, clearly and effectively communicate their thoughts both orally and on paper, recognize the value of collaborative and multidisciplinary research interactions, lead and inspire others to accomplish mutual research objectives, know how to translate their findings to practice, be ethical in their decision-making processes, harmonious in their relationships with other scientists, and who know how to acquire new skills as their careers advance.