This is a competing continuation application for a training program that had been in operation for 22 years at UCLA. Over the past five years, the program has maintained a record of producing excellent graduates who have secured academic positions. In this renewal, the program proposes to train six postdoctoral fellows (M.D., M.D./Ph.D., Ph.D., D.N.Sc., or D.O.). The program has been designed to develop independent researchers in psychiatry, psychology, and related disciplines by providing: 1) state-of-the-art research training in the laboratory of experienced researchers in psychiatry, psychobiology, neurobiology, and related fields;2) formal didactics which complement the hands-on research experience, emphasizing skills in research methodology and critical thinking, as well as topics relevant to the individual project;and, 3) training and guidance for the development of a career as an independent academic researcher. Trainees will spend approximately 90% of their time in research, while broadening and deepening their knowledge by participating in two core seminars and taking selected other classes. Each trainee's curriculum is individually designed to meet his or her needs. We propose several changes to the program for the next project period. The first involves the overall structure of the program. The Semel Institute is a large and diverse organization with a broad range of faculty from diverse disciplines, who offer training experiences in a number potential research areas. In order to take full advantage of this diversity while maximizing cohesiveness of the training program, for the next project period we are organizing the faculty into five different focus areas. The faculty within each focus area will review the proposed training of applicants within their area of expertise to help ensure the most beneficial, broad-based experience. We also have made several other changes to further enhance the training program: 1) several preceptors with state-of- the-art research skills in neurobehavioral genetics and molecular biology have been added to the faculty;2) preceptors without active funding or ongoing research have been removed from the faculty;and, 3) recruitment of underrepresented minority trainees has been enhanced further by utilizing a broad network of University resources. These modifications to the program should lead to an enhanced training experience for a more diverse group of postdoctoral trainees.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-Z (02))
Program Officer
Wynne, Debra K
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
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