New Partnership Helps Junior Faculty Become Research Investigators - Higher Education
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New Partnership Helps Junior Faculty Become Research Investigators

by Janet Kline

Howard University and the National Institutes of Health has launched a pilot program which aims to position Howard junior faculty on the path to becoming seasoned research investigators.

The first phase of the NIH-Howard University Intramural Research Collaboration will be a two-year pilot to engage junior faculty, graduate and medical students to identify innovative ways to address routine and recurring issues that arise in scientific research collaborations. Upon successful implementation of the pilot, the partnership’s subsequent phases will expand to include faculty and students from other academic programs in the University, according to university officials.

“The purpose of the NIH-HUIRC collaboration is to engage in collaborative scientific discovery through research and development of joint training programs between NIH and Howard University,” said Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, dean of the College of Medicine and Howard University’s vice president of clinical affairs. “We expect junior faculty who participate in the NIH-HUIRC to develop the requisite skill sets to procure external grants and enhance scholarly productivity.”

The partnership will include lecture exchanges, shared equipment, and student training initiatives in biomedical research are also a component of this innovative partnership, according to university officials.

Howard University

“The NIH-HUIRC is a first of its kind intramural program. The focus here is mentoring of early stage faculty as well as medical and graduate students to engage in scientific discovery thru research and development,” said Dr. Celia J. Maxwell, associate dean for research, Howard University College of Medicine. “Additionally, this collaboration will position junior faculty on the path of becoming seasoned research investigators. There are many collaborations with institutions of higher learning in the NIH extramural program, which are usually around drug or device development, clinical trials, etc.”

Dr. John I. Gallin, chief scientific officer and clinical research at the NIH said that such a partnership is needed.

“We are excited about the prospect of leveraging our diverse communities to optimize the research and training at both our institutions,” he said.

Howard officials anticipate that about 10 junior faculty and 25 students will participate during the pilot period.

NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, investing billions of dollars to achieve its mission to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with NIH, in order to further position our biomedical faculty and graduate students to become successful researchers. This is a key element in further strengthening our research portfolio and training programs,” said Howard University provost and chief academic officer Dr. Anthony K. Wutoh.

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