Training Future Generations of Mental Health Researchers: Devising Strategies for Tough Times

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Abstract

Objective

The authors describe a junior faculty scholars program in a large academic department of psychiatry, designed to reduce attrition during the high-risk period of transition from post-doctoral fellowship to receipt of the first extramural research award.

Method

Scholars receive 25% salary support for two years to enable their participation in a research survival skills practicum, mentored collection of pilot data, preparation of manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication, and submission of K23 and K01 proposals.

Results

Of 22 junior faculty scholars appointed during the period of 1999–2004, 17 have submitted K award proposals. All were funded on either the first or second submission

Conclusions

A program for junior faculty scholars can provide support for successfully navigating the critical and often difficult transition from post-doctoral fellowship to junior faculty. The program is expanding its efforts to assist K awardees in moving successfully along the developmental continuum (e.g., successful submission of R01, development of mentoring skills).

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