The Career Enhancement Core (CEC) will oversee the educational and career enhancement activities of the UCDC. The overarching goal of the CEC is to train the next-generation of rare diseases researchers. The main aim of the CEC is to recruit, train, and retain trainees and faculty at different career stages and provide resources to facilitate a career in rare diseases research, specifically in urea cycle disorders (UCD) and other inborn errors of metabolism. Additionally, the CEC will also build on its previous accomplishments and enhance a curriculum that will be beneficial for career enhancement of early-stage investigators not only in the UCDC, but across all other consortia of the RDCRN. CEC Program Overview, Application, Review, and Selection Process The CEC has predoctoral and postdoctoral/junior faculty components. The predoctoral component focuses on clinical and research training of medical students, graduate students, genetic counselors, and neuropsychology trainees by didactics and involvement in data-mining and clinical projects of the UCDC. Postdoctoral and junior faculty career enhancement will focus on funding protected research time, mentoring on a specific UCD research project, and assisting in the transition to an independent research career. Applications will consist of a 5-page research proposal, statement of relevance of proposal to UCDC mission, career development plan, and letters of support from the mentor and the sponsoring Institution. Applications will be scored using NIH scoring system by a ?study section? consisting of the CEC leadership, UCDC investigators and NIH PO/SO. The award will be for one year; depending upon the progress and the impact of the work, trainees will be considered for a second year of funding. Special focus will be paid to recruit women and individuals from underrepresented minorities. Oversight and Evaluation The accomplishments of the specific aims of the candidate will be monitored frequently so that any barriers or difficulties, whether programmatic or personal, can be identified and addressed early. The progress of the trainee will be assessed by primary research mentor, presentations at the monthly UCDC phone meetings, and quarterly meetings with the CEC PI (Dr. Nagamani). Awardees present at the annual UCDC conference and submit a written progress report at the end of the funding. Through the activities of the CEC, the UCDC hopes to build on its already outstanding record of training successful next-generation of researchers in rare diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZTR1)
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Children's Research Institute
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