California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

Institute To Assist Early Career Faculty

Published: February 20, 2017

Institute To Assist Early Career Faculty Members

A nearly $2 million grant to CSULB from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help create a research training institute that will enhance the readiness of early career faculty at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The focus of the institute is to prepare participants to conduct community-based health equity research and compete for additional NIH research funding. The research training institute will be developed and implemented by CSULB’s Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) and will provide mentorship from senior level researchers at CSULB and R1 universities, such as the University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California.

“There are not enough young faculty members, especially faculty coming from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, who are prepared to do this kind of research,” said CHER director Laura D’Anna, who serves as principal investigator on the grant. “It’s imperative that we find innovative ways to engage early career faculty members at Minority Serving Institutions as they possess many requisite attributes to become well-respected scientists who have the passion and commitment to bring us closer to achieving health equity in the U.S.”

The new institute will address these issues with a series of educational activities for participating faculty through the implementation of an Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) program.

A goal of IPERT is to prepare selected faculty members from across the U.S. to conduct community-based, social and health behavior research in an effort to achieve health equity among racial and ethnic minority populations, and to increase the number of scientists from MSIs represented among future principal investigators seeking NIH funding. Program activities will be geared to complement and/or enhance the training of this specific workforce in order to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

While scientists from MSIs bring unique perspectives and experiences and a better understanding of factors associated with racial, ethnic and social inequities in health and health status, they often lack access to training in NIH procedures and grant development, advanced methods and statistics, and mentoring opportunities with NIH-funded investigators.
Therefore, providing educational and mentoring activities to enhance the readiness of early career faculty from MSIs is crucial for developing a more diverse pool of investigators adequately prepared to conduct health disparities research and to compete for NIH research funding.

T. Alex Washington, a professor in CSULB’s School of Social Work, and C. Kevin Malotte, emeritus professor in Health Science, are co-investigators on the grant.

For additional information on the CHER Institute click here. Applications for the first institute are due Wednesday, March 1. Instructions and materials can be found here.