Targeted Research Training: Developing Minority Psychiatric Investigators
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The primary purpose of this article is to review the career outcomes of a research training program specifically targeted to young psychiatric researchers from minority populations underrepresented in psychiatry. The aims of the program were (1) to support psychiatric investigators from under-represented populations in the development and maintenance of research careers and (2) to identify the factors which influence successful research career development.
Demographic data from 99 program participants were collected from an online survey as part of a systematic program evaluation, and through a follow-up internet search. Outcome measures included current academic position, number and types of post-training grants received, number of peer-reviewed publications, and comparison of post-training career outcomes with those from other highly regarded research training programs.
Of the 99 psychiatrists accepted into the program, 55 responded to the online survey; additional information on non-responders was obtained through a follow-up internet search. Results indicated that 64 % of program trainees identified their primary employment setting as academic/research; 70 % reported publication of their research findings, and 64 % reported the award of post-training research grants. The percentage of program graduates appointed to academic faculty positions and their receipt of R01 and/or K awards, exceeded that of two highly regarded national training programs. The study further identified major factors influencing successful research career development.
Findings from this study strongly suggest that research training programs targeted to young minority psychiatrists can be successful in supporting the development and maintenance of their research careers. The decline in the availability of such programs does not portend well for increasing the numbers of underrepresented minority psychiatric researchers.