Training Next Generation Mental Health Researchers

Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Mental Health

Location(s): United States


Although dramatic advances have occurred in basic neuroscience and molecular genetics, the utilization of such knowledge in understanding the pathophysiology of mental illness and mechanisms of treatment may be hindered by a dearth of clinical researchers trained to apply it to the key problems of mental diseases. This program provides support for involvement in clinical research training and activity for three PGY-3 residents in psychiatry, and one PGY-5 postdoctoral fellow. The allocation of training support to residents in psychiatry is determined annually on a competitive basis. In addition to support of individual trainees, the program provides internal funding to support up to three PGY-3 pilot projects per year, and the involvement of trainees in formal coursework in methodology and statistics. To build upon unique institutional strengths in basic neuro- and behavioral science, each trainee will be encouraged to identify both a clinical research and a basic science mentor when appropriate. A Seminar in Translational Science is offered that seeks to model how basic and clinical science can inform one another in scientific investigation. Additional didactic experiences include a Career Pathways Seminar, a Recent Research Journal Club, and an annual Research Retreat, in which all departmental research trainees and faculty are invited to present a summary of their recent work. The success of the program in facilitating clinical research careers will be assessed through a series of subjective and objective instruments constructed to assay changes in attitude, knowledge, and skills of trainees in the course! of their clinical research training, and their ultimate career paths and success. The career development of minority and women trainees in clinical research is specifically emphasized.