The overall goal of the Career Development Program (CDP) is to recruit future leaders in environmental health sciences (EHS), to support their development, and to promote training of investigators at all levels. Through these efforts the CDP strives to enhance multidisciplinary collaborations identifying the causes and reducing the burden of environmental disease.
More specifically, the CDP aims to:
(1) Find and recruit talented and committed junior level scientists and newly recruited investigators with specific expertise important to Center development and with demonstrated potential to develop an independent research program.
(2) Identify opportunities for Center investigators to develop expertise and skills needed to advance EHS.
(3) Promote career development at all career stages that enhances prospects for innovative EHS research and translation necessary for improved clinical application and public health.
The CDP provides training in expertise and skills development and organizes seminars and associated visiting scientist symposia, workshops and research focus groups, and advises on short courses available in Southern California. The CDP supports travel to training opportunities elsewhere, including conferences, short courses and workshops, and to develop research collaboration.
New innovations to the program, designed to nurture junior investigators' CD and to promote program goals, include a highly successful and innovative weekly CD seminar that has become a central feature of the CDP. The primary goal of the seminar is to build the expertise and record of accomplishment necessary for successful independent research careers. The seminar has fostered the development of new research ideas, optimal use of Center pilot projects and support from the service cores to collect preliminary data for grant proposals, and engagement of collaborators through the Center research cores, initiatives, seminar series, and other Center enrichment activities. Grant applications are reviewed in a mock study section and conference presentations are practiced. Information about diverse topics ranging from preparing a promotion dossier and compliance with ethical requirements of human studies to opportunities for participation in COEC activities are shared in a supportive peer setting.
The CDP has been substantially enhanced to respond to the growing training needs of the Center. There is a proven track record of identifying outstanding new and recruited investigators and of providing strong mentorship that promotes academic success. The CDP will continue to innovate and respond to emerging needs for training to advance Center science.