The department of pediatrics at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles—which is run in partnership with the Keck School of Medicine of USC—will be better able to guide the research careers of select junior faculty thanks to a government grant of nearly $1.8 million.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded the grant, which will be distributed over a five-year period.
The funding will establish a Child Health Research Career Development Award Center at the hospital that will provide a greater capacity to mentor junior faculty members by nurturing their research careers. It will also ensure that their basic science research is applied to clinical problems sooner.
Each year, one or two scholars will be chosen from a pool of candidates drawn from training programs in the hospital or from national searches. Special measures will be put in place to attract women and minority applicants.
The center will be administered by Roberta Williams, vice president for academic affairs and chair of the departments of pediatrics at both Childrens Hospital and the Keck School; Charles Gomer, professor of pediatrics and radiation oncology and associate chair for faculty affairs at the Keck School; an internal advisory committee, and a recruitment officer.
Thirty USC senior faculty research mentors from nine departments will guide the scholars as they develop research proposals, go through the approval process, conduct the research and receive formal and informal education designed to further enhance their research careers.
Examples of the formal education include courses that cover experimental design, ethics and responsible conduct of research, biostatistics, bioinformatics, and in-vitro and in-vivo research techniques. Weekly research seminars and journal clubs will constitute the less formal portion of the curriculum.
The grant, which started on June 1, will run through May 31, 2011.