This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) award supports the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Relationship Science Program (IRSP), a multidisciplinary doctoral training program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The objective is to educate research scientists who possess the theoretical foundation to study complex interpersonal relationship processes and the associations between social relationships and biology, behavior, culture and society. Trainees will develop the methodological tools to conduct state-of-the-art research and the professional skills to collaborate effectively across disciplines, to disseminate their work to diverse audiences, and to succeed in research-oriented careers. The IRSP training program emphasizes research mentorship and a year-long lab rotation outside of the home discipline. The innovative curriculum includes an integrative graduate seminar on relationship science, a rich set of elective seminars, advanced methodology workshops, and a weekly Relationship Science Forum emphasizing cutting-edge research, the impact of social and cultural diversity on relationships, and professional development. The broader impacts of the program include providing information to the public via a website and an annual conference on diversity in social relationships, and informing public policy debates about relationship science findings. IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the interdisciplinary background, deep knowledge in a chosen discipline, and the technical, professional, and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Graduate Education (DGE)
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Melur K. Ramasubramanian
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University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles
United States
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