Thanks to a newly awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant funded by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy will partner over the next five years to train eight postdoctoral researchers in a two-year training sequence that involves exposure to all phases of clinical trials research at USC.
The grant will be funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research. The Kirschstein award is named in memory of pathologist Ruth L. Kirschstein, who passed away in 2009.
Aside from her scientific accomplishments in polio vaccine development, Kirschstein was a champion of research training and an advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented individuals in the scientific workforce. The award is administered through the NIH Office of Extramural Research.
Reflecting a strong interdisciplinary emphasis, faculty members from both divisions at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, as well as colleagues from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC School of Pharmacy will oversee a coordinated fellowship experience that includes individualized mentorship plans, core coursework, participation in training seminars, immersion in externally funded projects and writing of grant proposals and research publications.
Anticipated outcomes of the training grant include a greater capacity for trainees to independently conduct randomized clinical trials and an increase in the quantity and rigor of rehabilitation science publications. In the long term, the program aims to promote the development and testing of interventions that improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation services.