The primary mission of the Research Training Program at the University of Washington Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OtoHNS) is to educate residents to develop and support research programs that will enhance the treatment of patients with diseases of communication relating to the special senses of hearing, balance and olfaction, with airway dysregulation, and with cancer of the head and neck. This Research Training Program creates a strong research culture, facilitating investigative activity throughout the residency period and beyond. This continuation of an Institutional Training Grant (T32) that began in 1983 supports full-time research training for every OtoHNS Resident for one or two years in the first half of residency. In the two years of residency prior to the T32-supported research period, the residents engage in a structured program to identify a Primary Research Mentor, develop an individualized research training plan with their mentor that complements the structured research training, and prepare their main research project. During the T32- supported research period, all residents design and perform hands-on mentored research, and they participate in several structured research training activities (e.g., research presentations, a statistics course, a grant writing program, responsible conduct of research seminars, and others). After the T32-supported research period, residents are required to continue research productivity during each year of the Residency Program, facilitated by an additional department-supported research period free of daily clinical responsibility. We request five positions for Postdoctoral Resident Research Trainees (every OtoHNS Resident participates in the T32-supported Research Training Program) and one position for a Predoctoral Medical Student Research Trainee who wishes to acquire a full year of intensive research training during their medical training. Postdoctoral trainee positions not filled by an OtoHNS Resident (i.e., T32 positions vacated for individual NRSA F32 grants) are awarded (on a competitive basis) to a Post-Residency Research Trainee to obtain full-time research training for one or two years in conjunction with a subspecialty clinical fellowship. Concerted effort is made to recruit and train candidates from under-represented minority groups. The Research Training Program is continuously evaluated and altered to fit the changing needs of the research trainees. Experienced investigators in biomedical sciences throughout the University of Washington system are available as potential Primary Research Mentors. In addition to the Director (PI) and Co-Director (Co-PI), we name 14 investigators with prior mentoring experience and commitment to training to support our T32-funded research trainees. Analysis of the results of this program over the past 15 years reveals that 70% of the physician trainees that are out of clinical training have joined full-time academic institutions.
This application describes the University of Washington Research Training Program for Otolaryngology surgeons. Surgical residents and student surgeons will learn to conduct world-class research aimed at testing the outcomes of current practices and developing new therapies in areas of medicine relevant to the practice of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, including, but not limited to: hearing, speech, olfaction and other routes of communication; balance; head and neck cancer; and airway function.
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