The RCMI program?s objectives are to enable investigators to become more successful in obtaining competitive extramural support from NIH, particularly for research into diseases that disproportionately impact minority and other health disparity populations, and to foster environments conducive to career enhancement. The goal of the RCMI@Morgan Investigator Development Core (IDC) is to support the development and enhance the competitiveness of diverse investigators in basic biomedical, behavioral and/or clinical sciences, with particular emphasis on early-stage investigators. The IDC?s activities will center on (1) the administration of a pilot grant program, (2) provision of additional writing and research support, and (3) community building. Morgan State University?s (MSU) research faculty will be better positioned to be successful applicants for NIH funding if they have been intentionally mentored on the steps and components of the research and grant application process, experienced the review process, and, particularly, provided support for revision and resubmission. Further, finding the time and the discipline to write is challenging in a teaching-intensive environment, and publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals is an important factor in future success in being awarded funding for research proposals, and thus the IDC will convene Science Writing Accountability Groups (SWAGs), peer accountability groups designed to increase productivity via weekly structured meetings. The high teaching load at MSU can have an isolating effect on our faculty. There seems to be little time for them to attend research seminars on neighboring campuses, and scarce funds to travel to research conferences. Hence, faculty have limited opportunities to build a network of collaborators, let alone acquire new research skills or become familiar with new methodologies and equipment, which hinders faculty from using cutting-edge approaches in their research. Early-career investigators, in particular, need to build robust academic research support networks to have successful careers. A well-structured mentoring program for early career faculty and the opportunity for faculty summer research partnerships and longer-term structured mentorships with faculty at research-intensive partner institutions will help to address this deficit. An innovative aspect of MSU?s approach is to strategically encourage interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration between social/behavioral scientists and basic researchers in STEM disciplines. Providing structured but informal occasions for faculty focusing on health disparities research to network with each other and with bench scientists will create opportunities for cross-fertilization of research ideas and approaches, and the potential to initiate and strengthen research and writing collaborations, among faculty from MSU and from research partner institutions. The IDC?s aims are designed to equip MSU?s investigators with what they need to become successful, funded and productive biomedical and behavioral health investigators and to advance their research careers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Morgan State University
United States
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