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Division of Preventive Medicine

Research Education Core

Core Aims

  1. Build research capacity and increase the diversity of the workforce through the education of a diverse group of faculty Scientists.

  2. Build research capacity through mentoring. The three program components:

    • Provide opportunities for RCMAR Scientists to work on interdisciplinary teams, exposing them to the methodologies and theories of other scientific disciplines pertinent to the study of age-related disparities.

    • Work toward the development of independent careers in aging and health disparities research through publishing and individualized mentorship by a mentorship team including at least one senior investigator.

    • Promote ongoing career development by integrating former RCMAR Scientists into leadership roles and fostering networks for ongoing collaboration and support.

  3. Build research capacity through research funding. The REC:

    • Facilitates the development and execution of pilot studies that contribute to the overall mission of the RCMAR and provide the foundation for the Scientists' future grant applications.

    • Fosters the submission of competitive projects focusing on aging and health disparities, including Diversity Supplements and other mentored awards, and independent awards.

How We Do It

The Deep South REC is designed to educate, support, and collaborate with faculty at our four partnering institutions and to pursue enduring research careers focused on understanding and eliminating racial health disparities among older adults. This unique collaboration between institutions that vary greatly in their research emphasis, research infrastructure, and faculty backgrounds will increase the pool of potential applicants to the program. Each partnering institution brings unique strengths to the overall educational experience. The REC has three major activities, which form the basis for a career development trajectory to research independence:

Education Program

The Health Disparities Research Education Program (HDREP) provides education in the basic tools of social behavioral, clinical and outcomes research and their applicability to aging research. This program includes education in the Responsible Conduct of Research, and the mentored research activities focus on career development, publications in aging and health disparities, and preparation for writing pilot grant applications that receive critiques from REC and leaders from each of the four partnering institutions. The program provides background and support for beginning Scientists with less research experience, although all aspects of the program are available to all Scientists.

Pilot Grant Program

This program offers funding, mentoring, and further guidance for the development and implementation of small-scale studies with the long-range goal of producing competitive research projects that will advance the science in aging and health disparities. Junior or mid-level faculty with some or moderate research experience enter the program at this level.

Continued Mentoring to Independence

Core investigators will provide continued mentoring and guidance for our RCMAR Scientists in career development. This includes assistance in seeking either mentored research support or funding through other grant mechanisms as appropriate. The overall goal is to assist our Scientists in establishing and sustaining independent research careers in aging research.

Key Personnel

Karlene Ball scrKarlene K. Ball, PhD - Core Co-Director
UAB Professor and Endowed Chair in Developmental Psychology
Director, UAB Core for Research on Applied Gerontology
Department of Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences 

Rebecca Allen, PhDRebecca Allen, PhD - Core Co-Director
Interim Chair, Department of Psychology
Alabama Research Institue of Psychology 
The University of Alabama


Other Personnel

Vincent C. Bond, PhD, MSM
Michael Crowe, PhD, UAB
Alexander Quarshie, MD, MS
Ann Smith, MPH, UAB