Professional Development Core
The Professional Development Core (PDC) seeks to build an integrated program of education and career development focused on the following:
- Developing early-stage investigators that will understand how to work in interdisciplinary teams and maintain long-lasting collaborations with clinical and basic scientists
- Providing training for practicing community clinicians so they can then become effective collaborators in research projects
- Providing scholars with professional development activities (curricula) that will aid them in becoming competitive for extramural funding and building them into the next generation of mentors
- Providing mentors with training in communication, expectations, independence, team science, and inclusiveness
The PDC welcomes applications for the following funding mechanisms for Fall 2022:
DaCCoTA Scholars Program
The purpose of this award is to stimulate the development of new CTR investigators. Awardees will receive salary support (50% FTE plus fringe) that guarantees a minimum of 50% protected research time for the project and up to $160,000 in annual research support for up to 5 years. The DaCCoTA will provide the first three years of funding, and the final two years will be funded by the applicant’s home institution (contingent on adequate progress). Early career faculty are encouraged to apply.
Community Engagement Scholars Program
This award is a joint effort between the Professional Development and Community Engagement and Outreach Cores with the goal of developing successful clinical and translational research (CTR) investigators. Scholars will work collaboratively with the Community Engagement and Outreach Core to conduct key informant interviews and focus groups to further refine community-based health research disparities or identify and pursue T3 and T4 research projects related to community-based health research priorities. Awardees will receive salary support (50% FTE plus fringe) that guarantees a minimum of 50% protected research time for the project and up to $160,000 in annual research support for up to 5 years. The DaCCoTA will provide the first three years of funding, and the final two years will be funded by the applicant’s home institution (contingent on adequate progress). Early career faculty are encouraged to apply.
Clinical Research Opportunities Program
This program provides 20% release time (up to NIH cap) to community-practicing, hospital-based clinicians to allow for participation in training activities and collaboration in disease-focused CTR. The goal of the program is to begin to shift translational research in the Upper Midwest to an enterprise informed by the patient. It is not intended that supported individuals will become full-time, independent investigators with funding for their own research projects. However, it is expected that providing an understanding of CTR and tools for identifying unmet medical needs will allow trained clinicians to become effective collaborators. Individuals may collaborate with both clinical and non-clinical scientists to help identify unmet clinical needs that can become the focus of translational research efforts.
- Letters of intent for all programs are due October 21st, 2022
- Full applications will be invited from selected applicants and will be due January 20th, 2023
- The anticipated award period is September 2023 - August 2024
- Applications for each program can consider the multilevel manifestations of disease (e.g. neurological, psychiatric), demographic risks, and social impact. Applications should focus on T2-T4 translational research, although T1 studies will be considered if there is a clear plan to progress to T2-T4
PDC Core Faculty
Lee Baugh, PhD - Director of the PDC
Dr. Baugh is an Associate Professor of Basic Biomedical Sciences at USD. Dr. Baugh's primary research interests include examining the cognitive and neuropsychological foundations of skilled movement and deficits in such movement that can arise both from healthy aging and neurological damage. Without the ability to act upon our thoughts and ideas via interacting with our environment, our cognition would serve little purpose. Dr. Baugh's lab examines questions related to how our brain represents and utilizes the information required to successfully interact with our surroundings. This question is of fundamental importance, bridging the gap between the brain and the outside world. To accomplish this goal, his lab utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach that includes traditional cognitive psychology methodology, as well as neuropsychological patient investigation, fMRI, EEG, EMG, and the advanced analysis of kinematic data.
Donald Sens, PhD - Co-Director of the PDC
Dr. Sens is a Professor of Pathology at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. His administrative experience is evidenced by his role as PI of the P20 INBRE program at UND and as the Program Coordinator for the recently awarded Cankdeska Cikana Native American Research Centers for Health. Dr. Sens has maintained active research support throughout his career, holding and participating in a wide variety of R01 research grants and R25 educational grants. His research is focused on the use of human tissues and derived cell cultures in biomedical research. The major theme of his research is to identify environmental agents that elicit human disease and cause alterations in cell structure and function, which can be used as predictive biomarkers of disease development and progression. His current studies address the role of environmental exposure to arsenic and cadmium in the development and progression of human bladder, breast, prostate, and renal diseases, including cancer. Dr. Sens was a reviewer for the DOD breast cancer program at its initiation and chaired a DOD breast cancer study section for over 10 years. He has served as a mentor in many capacities and has direct mentoring experience with undergraduates, graduate students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows.
Contact the DaCCoTA if you are interested in participating in any of our career development and mentoring opportunities.