Training Geriatric Mental Health Services Researchers

a MiCDA Research Project Description

Investigators: Frederic C. Blow, Helen C. Kales, Kenneth M. Langa

Funding (subcontract): National Institute of Mental Health, 2010-2015 (2 T32 MH 073553 06)

This renewal application requests funding for a multi-site postdoctoral two-year training program in geriatric mental health services research consisting of a training collaboratory including Dartmouth College (Stephen J. Bartels), Cornell University (Martha L. Bruce), University of Washington (Jurgen Unutzer) and the University of Michigan (Frederic C. Blow). The goal of the program is to train postdoctoral fellows for academic careers in geriatric mental health services research through an innovative, transdisciplinary, multi-site, collaborative approach. We will achieve this goal by providing each participant a two-year program consisting of: mentored geriatric mental health services research training; cross-site seminars and co-mentoring linked by web-based communication and archived curricula; and formal coursework at each site including the opportunity for a master?s in public health or master?s of science in health services research. We will further develop our program over the next 5 years by extending the breadth, depth, and reach of the initially funded program by adding a fourth site (University of Michigan) with additional fellows and methodological/ content expertise; by including additional NIMH-funded trainees from other research centers; and by enhancing the cross-site seminar with sessions dedicated to NIMH?s strategic priority areas, including translational and implementation research. The four-site structure provides the critical mass of expertise in geriatric mental health services research and breadth of mentored research opportunities that would not be available at any one site. We will train 16 postdoctoral fellows over the 5-year funding period. Applicants will have a doctoral degree in medicine, psychology, social work, sociology, epidemiology, public health, health economics, or a related social science.
The proposed renewal builds on a proven track record of success over the first 3 ? years of funding. Accomplishments include: filling 100% of fellowship positions across each of the three initial sites (including participants from NIMH diversity categories of underrepresented minorities [33%], educationally disadvantaged backgrounds [8%], and disabled [25%]); 100% retention over the 2-year fellowship; successful implementation of our web-based, biweekly, cross-site mentoring seminar; evaluation of the overall quality of the program by our fellows as "excellent to outstanding", and evidence of successful scholarship by our fellows. In the first 3 ? years of our program, the 12 fellows have published over 50 publications (abstracts, book chapters, and articles), including 30 peer-reviewed journal articles (17 as first author). Eighty percent of our graduates have successfully obtained academic positions and 50% have obtained research funding.