This is a renewal proposal requesting an additional five years of T35 funding to support a three-month summer training program at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) for students enrolled in a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) clinical degree program. We request funding to cover four students annually for the duration of the grant. M. Patrick Feeney, Ph.D. will be the Program Director. He will be assisted by an Advisory Committee. The long-term objective of our program is to increase the number of individuals with a clinical Au.D. who go on to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in research audiology. The NCRAR is a VA-funded research center consisting of 14 Ph.D. investigators, all of whom will serve as T-35 faculty. NCRAR research focuses on diagnosis, rehabilitation and prevention of auditory and balance disorders through translational and applied human studies, many of which use clinical methodologies to obtain data. It thus has particular appeal and application to the clinical Au.D. students for whom the program is designed. During the summer, each student works with their mentor to design and conduct a research project, while also working in their mentor's laboratory, attending courses held by NCRAR faculty and guests, participating in NCRAR journal groups, meetings and seminars, holding discussions with each NCRAR Investigator, attending a summer audiology conference and visiting other local research facilities. Finally, students are required to present their mentored research project to members of the NCRAR, and at the American Auditory Society annual meeting. They are also encouraged to work with their mentor to publish the findings of this project. All students enrolled in an accredited Au.D. program are eligible to participate. The program is publicized via mailings to Au.D. Department Chairs, on the NCRAR website, and at audiology conferences throughout the year. To apply, students must send a statement of interest describing what they hope to gain from the traineeship, a curriculum vitae, at least two letters of recommendation and an applicant evaluation form completed by their Au.D. program advisor. Applications are evaluated by the NCRAR faculty using undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, the content of their personal statement and the applicant evaluation form as metrics. Since 2007 two past trainees have received a Ph.D. and are Assistant Professors, two trainees are currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs, and five are research audiologists. Twelve trainees have had peer-reviewed publications with NCRAR faculty over the last 10 years. These data, combined with highly positive evaluations from participating students and the NCRAR faculty demonstrate that our program successfully accomplishes the goals of the NIH T35 training program `to encourage Au.D. students to develop research career trajectories through pursuing sustained programs of research training and career development in order to advance the state- of-the art in hearing health care services'.

Public Health Relevance

This is a renewal proposal requesting an additional five years of funding to support a three-month T35 summer training program at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) for students enrolled in a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) clinical degree program. The purpose of the training is to encourage an interest in hearing research and research careers using an intensive short-term immersion in an auditory research environment combined with an individual mentored research project.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
NRSA Short -Term Research Training (T35)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1)
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Rivera-Rentas, Alberto L
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Portland VA Research Foundation, Inc.
United States
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