The Center supports the following initiatives to train aspiring researchers and clinicians.
Child Psychiatric Disorders
The T-32 for “Translational Research in Child Psychiatric Disorders” is a NIMH-funded postdoctoral training fellowship available to child psychiatrists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and psychologists to conduct translational research in childhood psychiatric disorders, which includes basic science developments leading to treatments and examining the bridge between treatments developed in the lab setting to community settings. Trainees are expected to conduct research in areas that could range from studying animal models of neurodevelopmental conditions to conducting clinical trials and studying implementation and dissemination of evidence-based treatments in the community. The training program is designed to impart the training and skills necessary for submitting a competitive career development (K) award. The emphasis on translational research necessitates interdisciplinary input into each trainee’s education and strong programmatic oversight to ensure that each trainee has the cognitive and technological tools required for success in their present and future research endeavors. The program welcomes applicants interested in focusing on understudied populations including racial/ethnic minorities or persons with disabilities.
Trainees will be mentored in core domains of translational research in child psychiatry, including:
- The NIMH Research Domain Criteria
- Translational neuroscience
- Research design, management, and ethics
- Scientific writing
- Oral presentation
- Grant preparation
This program is led by a group of internationally recognized researchers with strong records in basic neuroscience, neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, epidemiology, and clinical trials research, including psychological and psychopharmacological interventions and prevention research. Candidates can elect to work in any of the numerous basic neuroscience, epidemiology, or clinical treatment laboratories affiliated with the program.
Mood and Anxiety Disorders
This T-32, “Research Training in Mood and Anxiety Disorders: From Animal Models to Patients,” has been funded continuously since 1978. Its mission is to train future leaders in psychiatric research focused on mood, anxiety, and related disorders. The program’s vision is founded on the belief that transformative discoveries impacting the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders will result from research that elucidates the development, function, and dysfunction of specific neural circuits involved in cognition, emotion, and emotional regulation. The goal of this program is to train postdoctoral (i.e., MD, PhD, and MD/PhD) fellows for careers as independent researchers in affective, anxiety, and related Disorders. Achievement of this goal is measured by how many fellows continue in a research-intensive trajectory after graduation, whether supported by a K award, the primary method, or some other source of funding. During this intensive, three-year program, fellows learn to identify key research questions, formulate hypotheses, and design and execute experiments that test those hypotheses.
The program includes six major components:
- Relationship with the mentor
- Participation in research, including the execution of the fellow’s own studies
- Submission of scientific papers and grants
- Didactic courses in research design, statistics, special topics, and grant writing
- Attendance at the fellow’s seminar
- Instruction in the responsible conduct of research
Additional skills that are required for a fellow to become an independent researcher include developing an understanding of the administrative organization of a successful research enterprise, collaborating effectively with other researchers, and writing grants that are successful in being funded by NIH, private foundations, and other sources. Comprehensive training in the responsible conduct of research begins early in the fellowship. Fellows must maintain the highest standards of scientific integrity and understand the ethical issues relevant to human and animal experimentation, and the institutional review board process.
Late Life Neuropsychiatric Disorders
The “Research Training in Late Life Neuropsychiatric Disorders” T-32 is now in its 23rd year. The primary aim of this program is to train postdoctoral (i.e., MD, PhD, and MD/PhD) fellows for careers as independent researchers in late life neuropsychiatric disorders.
The program focuses on the aging-associated processes and the pathophysiology underlying psychiatric disorders by studying:
- The etiology and pathophysiology of late life mental disorders
- The relationships between physiologic processes associated with aging and the development of late life neuropsychiatric disorders
- The prevention and treatment of late life disorders using novel pharmacologic, somatic, or psychotherapeutic treatments
Of particular interest are aging-related processes that have protective effects on the structure and function of brain structures and promote healthy aging across the lifespan.
An intensive, three-year program is outlined in which fellows will learn how to identify key research questions, formulate hypotheses, and design and execute experiments that effectively test those hypotheses. Fellows will acquire skills relevant to research methodology, including expertise in experimental design and statistical analysis relevant to basic, translational, and clinical research programs. Comprehensive training in the responsible conduct of research and in rigor and reproducibility is essential and must begin early in the fellowship.
A fellow must maintain the highest standards of scientific integrity and understand the ethical issues relevant to human and animal experimentation, and the institutional review board process. Graduating fellows will be able to present clearly a project in both written and oral form, as evidenced by publications and presentations. Additional skills that are required for a fellow to become an independent researcher include: developing an understanding of the administrative organization of a successful research enterprise, collaborating effectively with other researchers, and how to write grants that are successful in being funded by NIH, private foundations, and other sources.