The investigators are applying to continue a successful interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program focused on Environmental Epidemiology in Community Settings (EECS program) within the Department of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). The EECS program consists of a specific training regimen that is located within a mature doctoral program and designed to prepare pre-doctoral students to use the most sophisticated methods currently available to advance the state of knowledge and develop new methods in community-oriented environmental epidemiology. The program has an intellectual commitment to interdisciplinary work, built on a robust collaborative research program within BUSPH and with outside research partners and designed to provide research training that is interdisciplinary in spirit, substance and outcome. The investigators will recruit two pre-doctora trainees each year for a steady state census of six trainees and build on a demonstrated record of recruiting trainees from underrepresented groups. EECS trainees typically receive support from the training grant during their first three years and then transition to external research grants awarded either to the trainee (e.g. NIH F-series awards, EPA STAR fellowships) or to faculty mentors (e.g. NIH R01 awards, EPA STAR grants). An advisor is assigned upon entering the program to assist with selecting courses, identifying research rotations, and developing dissertation plans. The investigators offer a core curriculum that provides multidisciplinary training in environmental health, epidemiology, toxicology, biostatistics, and physiology. Clusters of advanced specialty courses are tailored to particular areas of ongoing research such as epidemiologic methods, social epidemiology, and exposure assessment. Trainees engage in three research rotations on active projects during their first year (fall, sprin, summer), which facilitates integration into the program and refinement of research interests. Additionally, the program provides regular opportunities for oral presentation, teaching, and proposal writing. Trainees are required to prepare a dissertation proposal by the end of their fift semester before scheduling their written and oral qualifying exams. Upon passing their exams, trainees establish a dissertation committee and engage in full-time research activities. Key enrichment activities of the training program include a weekly departmental research seminar, a biweekly proseminar and journal club, an annual research retreat, and explicit instruction in the responsible conduct of research. The Training Program Steering Committee (TPSC) reviews the progress of each trainee with respect to program milestones via course grades and progress reports submitted by the trainee and faculty mentor. The progress of the EECS program is evaluated via feedback from trainees at the end of each semester, reviews conducted by the External Advisory Committee, critical examination of successes and failures by the TPSC, and monitoring of graduates to track career paths and publications.
We are applying to continue a successful interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program focused on Environmental Epidemiology in Community Settings within the Department of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health. We will recruit two pre-doctoral trainees each year for a steady state census of six trainees. This proposal describes a specific training regimen that is designed to prepare pre- doctoral students to use the most sophisticated methods currently available to advance the state of knowledge and develop new methods in community-oriented environmental epidemiology.
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