(IDC) The RCMI Center for Health Disparities Research (RCMI-CHDR) Investigator Development Core (IDC) will design and implement an effective Pilot Project Program (PPP) that will catalyze the scientific growth and professional development of promising junior faculty and postdoctoral fellow investigators. The RCMI-CHDR IDC will manage the PPP through a campus-wide program solicitation that is coupled with a rigorous peer- review process. The endpoint of this process is the awarding of financial support to meritorious and innovative pilot research proposals that will address important health disparities issues of concern to minorities and underserved communities. In addition, the RCMI-CHDR IDC will develop and implement a robust mentoring and professional development infrastructure to support biomedical research training and accelerate research independence of early stage investigators including senior postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors. The RCMI-CHDR IDC will accomplish these important initiatives through the following specific aims:
Specific Aim 1. Design and implement an effective Pilot Project Program to provide financial support for junior faculty and senior postdoctoral fellows to conduct scientifically novel and impactful pilot research projects. Approach: Advertise and disseminate funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to JSU research community. Release the request for application (RFA) to the JSU research community. Collect, review, and sort applications. Develop and implement a rigorous NIH-type reviews process to select and fund the most meritorious pilot projects. Work collaboratively with the Administrative Core to perform formative and summative evaluations of the IDC strategic activities.
Specific Aim 2. Provide a comprehensive research training and career development program for early stage investigators. Approach: Organize meetings with each PPP PI to develop an individualized research training and career development plan. Develop a mentoring team and ensure that all each PPP PI has a senior mentor and a scientific advisor. Implement strategic activities to help investigators achieve mentoring and professional development goals. Implement quarterly ?Research Chat & Chew? to serve as a forum for the JSU research community to become familiar with one another, discuss pertinent research topics of interest, and forge beneficial intra- and inter- departmental collaborations/partnerships. Work with the Administrative Core to organize other research training and career development activities including research seminars and conferences, as well as grantsmanship, research compliance, and laboratory management workshops. By accomplishing these specific aims, the RCMI-CHDR IDC will make a significant impact on the career trajectory of early stage investigators at JSU. Assessments of key IDC outcomes including the numbers of peer-reviewed publications, scientific presentations, productive partnerships, and successful NIH applications for career development (K) and research awards (R and SC), will be conducted to measure the returns on investment and overall impact.

Public Health Relevance

(IDC) The major goal of RCMI-CHDR Investigator Development Core (IDC) is to provide early stage investigators (ESI) with the necessary resources and support mechanisms to facilitate their transition to independent researchers. The IDC will implement an effective Pilot Project Program (PPP) that will catalyze the scientific growth and professional development of ESI by: (1) supplying pilot funding for the implementation of basic science, behavioral and/or clinical research aimed at improving minority health and reducing environmental health disparities; and (2) engaging ESI in a rigorous biomedical research-training program that fosters mentoring and academic career development.

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