This application is a competitive renewal of 5T32 MH18951-23, a postdoctoral clinical research clinical and translational research training program in child mental health. Support is requested annually for 2 post- residency child psychiatrists, 4 post-doctoral child psychologists or other doctorally-prepared professionals, and four medical students for summer research electives. The postdoctoral training program, 2-3 years in duration, aims to develop scientists who can formulate original and significant research on the pathogenesis, course, treatment and prevention, and dissemination of effective treatments for child mental disorders. A multi- disciplinary faculty group with a long and successful history of research and research training provides mentorship to trainees. Most importantly, the T32 program pairs the trainee with an academically successful mentor and co-mentor committed to research training. The mentors and trainee develop a career development plan with targeted goals for acquisition of skills, presentations, publications, gathering pilot daa, and preparation of proposals for external funding, usually a career award; this plan is reviewed every 6 months with the mentors, trainee, Program Director and selected Training Faculty in order to ensure forward progress. An individually tailored course of didactic study will be developed for each trainee to insure the acquisition of core knowledge in research design, statistics, and content areas relevant to research. Trainees also participate in ongoing seminars on Research Survival Skills, dealing with formulation of scientific questions, grant writing, and project management, as well required didactic and interactive training on the responsible conduct of research. There is high institutional commitment to this T32, with salary and benefit supplementation by the Department, a formal K-award review process to aid trainees in grant preparation, and resources from the CTSI to support every aspect of project development and management. Of the 28 trainees who left the program since 2003, 93% completed the program, 82% have faculty appointments, including 19% at Associate Professor or higher, and 75% had external funding (including 15 K awards), and 15% were from under- represented minorities. The program is highly competitive, with 66 inquiries and 48 applications for 17 positions during this program period. In the summer research program, medical students work with a research mentor from the training faculty on a project leading to a publishable product in order to stimulate interest in child psychiatry research. Since 2003, 44% of the students who have graduated entered psychiatry, and 57% published at least one peer-reviewed paper.

Public Health Relevance

Child psychiatric disorders are the gateway to psychiatric conditions in adulthood, which in turn are leading sources of impairment and lost economic productivity. This training program will build upon previous success in recruiting, engaging, and mentoring successful scientists who can advance the field in order to reduce the burden of child mental disorders. This T32 is important because: (1) of the need to improve our understanding of pathogenesis, treatment, and implementation in child mental health disorders; (2) postdoctoral training is strong predictor of eventual academic success; and (3) of the need to replenish the pool of NIH-funded researchers with new cohorts of early career scientists.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
Program Officer
Hill, Lauren D
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Medicine
United States
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