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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Florida International: Mentorship Program Supports Junior Faculty Applying for NIH Grants

The Research Center in Minority Institutions (RCMI) at Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work recently graduated its first cohort as part of the Investigator Development Core Pilot Grant Program. Four junior faculty members completed the one-year program, which supports their research goals as they relate to addressing persistent and complex national health disparities issues.

“We launched the Pilot Grant Program to support junior faculty who are ready to apply for NIH [National Institutes of Health] and other government grants, but need pilot data to help them develop a competitive NIH application,” said Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and principal investigator of the program. “Through the program’s funding and mentorship and training activities, the pilot grant awardees obtained experience and support designing and implementing a research study and are now in a better position to successfully compete for NIH funding to continue their impactful research.”

The program is led by Dr. Trepka and includes Dr. Diana Sheehan, assistant professor of epidemiology and co-investigator on the project, and Dr. Sofia Fernandez, post-doctoral associate on the RCMI.

Each participant receives a $50,000 grant to support their work throughout the program and take part in various writing workshops and group sessions that helped them frame and further their research ideas through skills-based trainings.

The program also supports participants’ travel to various conferences and external trainings needed to propel them into independent careers.

The Pilot Grant Program recently kicked-off its second cohort and is currently recruiting for the third cohort. 

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