DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is critical in the U.S. today because it is viewed as central to health care reform. Meeting the current and future demands of CER requires well-trained investigators who possess the methodological skills and substantive knowledge to conduct innovative studies that inform diverse stakeholders who use CER to make decisions (e.g., federal and state government agencies, payers, employers, and citizens). The UNC CER K12 Program will identify, provide protected time, train, and mentor promising, broadly-diverse junior faculty with the potential to conduct innovative CER. To that end, the UNC CER K12 Program will facilitate the mentored career development of a cohort of CER Scholars by providing them with training in 5 core methodologies: (1) randomized, controlled trials; (2) observational studies that use secondary data; (3) systematic literature reviews; (4) decision sciences/modeling; and (5) dissemination and implementation. In addition, the curriculum emphasizes cross-cutting skills that are critical to CER, including: (1) interdisciplinary teamwork; (2) stakeholder/decision-maker relationships; (3) administrative and clinical databases; (4) electronic health records and informatics; and (5) professional skills (including ethics and the responsible conduct of research). Guided by these core research methodologies and cross-cutting skills, our CER K12 Program will use a combination of required and optional didactic and experiential learning modalities that will be tailored to individual CER Scholars' backgrounds and interests. UNC is an ideal institution for this CER K12 Program due to: (1) a large pool of outstanding junior investigators from Departments across campus from which we can select CER Scholars; (2) experienced and successful mentors; (3) a strong history of success with other K12 programs; (4) a culture that emphasizes interdisciplinary research that is essential to CER; (5) strong institutional support from our Schools, Centers, and Institutes; and (6) an innovative curriculum that builds upon the successes of other K12 Programs at UNC. Our CER K12 Program will capitalize on the Scholars, mentors, and resources to train the next generation of investigators who conduct innovative CER that improves the health of our citizens.
PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The UNC CER K12 Program seeks to facilitate the mentored career development of outstanding junior investigators to conduct CER. Through mentored, interdisciplinary training, CER Scholars will participate in a curriculum that uses didactic and experiential learning to provide CER Scholars with the training, experience, and mentoring required to become independent investigators who conduct CER that improves the health of our citizens.