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Nutritional Science Research Group

Nutrition Training at NIH

Nutrition Training Opportunities Underserved Minorities

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Strategic Plan to Reduce Health Disparities is part of a major national commitment to identify and address the underlying causes of disease and disability in racial and ethnic communities throughout the country. Because these communities carry an unequal burden of cancer-related health disparities, the NCI recognizes the need to greatly enhance research, education, and training programs that target these pockets of need. One of the key requisites for alleviating cancer-related health disparities is training new investigators well versed in the challenges of understanding disparities and committed to eliminating their causes.

In support of this effort the Nutrition Science Research Group (NSRG) of the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute has launched an effort to inform the diverse nutrition communities about education and training opportunities and to encourage applications. The Comprehensive Minority Biomedical Branch of the National Cancer Institute offers various funding opportunities (http://minorityopportunities.nci.nih.gov/) including the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE).

Foremost among these efforts is the Research Project Grant (RPG) Supplement Program "Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities" (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-99-104.html) which provides supplemental funds to grantees who request salary support on their existing research awards for underrepresented minority high school, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral trainees (MIPT), and staff or faculty members (MIS). These supplements are also available for individuals with disabilities or to promote reentry into research careers. About 95% of proposals for these supplements are funded.

Career Development Awards (http://grants.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm), better known as K awards, provide additional opportunities for postdoctoral training designed to provide a continuation of support for those who have been on MIPT or MIS supplements. The goal is to provide an extended period of sponsored research as a way to gain scientific expertise while bridging the transition from a mentored research environment to an independent research/academic career to submit applications. K awards are available for extended training for career development of underrepresented minority investigators ranging from the above mentored training to career transition (K01), clinical oncology (K08), and mentored patient-oriented research for underrepresented minorities (K23). In all cases these awards currently offer a stipend of up to $75,000 and additional funds for travel, fringe benefits as well as other costs of up to $30,000.

National Research Service Award (NSRA) F31 Predoctoral Fellowship Awards for Minority Students (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-95-029.html) provide support for research training leading to PhD or MD degrees (or both). These awards are for up to five years of support of a stipend plus an institutional allowance for travel and laboratory supplies (currently $2000/yr.). The success rate for F31 fellowships is about 50%. Applicants for all of the above programs must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or permanent residents.

In addition, the Comprehensive Minority Institution/Cancer Center Program initiative (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-CA-01-002.html) offers training opportunities as a part of an effort to develop cooperative programs between cancer centers and minority institutions. These programs require development of cooperation between an established NCI Cancer Center and a Comprehensive Minority Institution.

Our goal in providing this information is to expand the use of these programs and ultimately increase underrepresented minority individuals in the field of nutrition and cancer. We are maintaining updated information on our website (http://prevention.cancer.gov/nutrition). If you need further information please feel free to contact the NSRG at (301) 496-8573 or the NCI Cancer Training Branch at (301) 496-7344. Likewise, if you have ideas about strategies that might be used to increase participation of underrepresented minority scientists, please contact us.

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