Investigator Development Core: Abstract Representation of underrepresented minority professionals in biomedical workforce is critical for addressing the issues related to changing demographics in the United Sates. Therefore, it is essential to increase the diversity in the research workforce that focuses on minority health and health disparities. Career advancement for faculty conducting research is measured by their ability to obtain external funding. The objective of Investigator Development core (IDC) is to train and support the eligible scholars (post-doctoral fellows, junior faculty and early stage investigators) to establish successful extramural research programs and mentor them for a successful research career. We have developed the Steps Toward Academic Research (STAR) Leadership program that provides training, pilot project support through U54 mechanism and from institutional funds. IDC will work closely with the Program Executive Committee and Community Engagement and Dissemination Core to accomplish this objective.
In Aim 1, we will implement the STAR Leadership program for scholars to develop competitive research grant applications in minority health and health disparities. Our diversity recruitment plan recruits 10 scholars each year, and provides intensive training for effective grant writing, conducting health disparity research, and developing research proposals working with subject experts and community stakeholders.
In Aim 2, we will conduct rigorous peer-review to select 3-5 new pilot projects each year to fund investigator-initiated minority health and health disparity research. We will also support pilot project awardees for the successful completion of their projects adhering with NIHMD research frame work by providing post-award support including institutional resources (eg., access to core facilities, statistical expertise, manuscript and grant writing support). In order to appreciate and encourage promising investigators, we will assess project performance and supplement the scholars with high potential for extramural funding with a second year of support through institutional funds.
In Aim 3, we will immerse our scholars into the network of faculty and professionals conducting minority health and health disparity research. Scholars will be connected with UNTHSC partners, NRMN and NIMHD professional development and networking programs. The other activities include, providing opportunities to disseminate their research to scientific and community stakeholders, formation of ?My Groups? within NRMN platform with subject- and community experts to facilitate the re-submission of grant applications, ensuing scholars? persistence in health disparity research careers. Successful outcome of our program will result in 50 scholars with fully developed health disparity research projects, 15-25 scholars who will conduct health disparity research and gather data for extramural research support, and 40% of the pilot project awardees securing extramural funding within 2 years after completion of the STAR Leadership program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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University of North Texas
Fort Worth
United States
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