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Bridging Disciplines in the Brain, Behavioral, and Clinical Sciences
Scientific education at early career stages should be sufficiently broad to produce graduates who can understand essential components of other disciplines while receiving a solid grounding in one or more fields. Criteria for NIH-supported research training should include both breadth and depth of education.
Through the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program, encourage participating universities to support MD/PhD programs in the social and behavioral, as well as biomedical, sciences.
Promote translational research, an important aspect of interdisciplinary training by (1) Providing clinical experience in PhD programs; (2) Supporting PhD programs and postdoctoral mentored career development awards for physicians, nurses, dentists, social workers, and other clinicians.
Create partnerships with the private sector to develop and support interdisciplinary training.
Expand the T32 training grant awards to cover the full direct costs of implementation.
Funding agencies should establish a grant supplement program to foster interdisciplinary training and research.
Funding opportunities for interdisciplinary training should be provided for scientists at all stages of their careers.
Implement career development programs that encourage junior faculty to engage in interdisciplinary research.
Support midcareer investigators in developing expertise needed for interdisciplinary research.
Continue funding for workshops, symposia, and meetings to bring together diverse fields to focus on a particular scientific question.
Support consortia and multi-institutional programs that provide integration of research efforts in multiple disciplines.
NIH should develop and implement mechanisms to evaluate the outcomes of interdisciplinary training and research programs.
Identify interdisciplinary research and training as such in all federal grants to facilitate future analyses.
Establish a task force to develop a plan to track outcomes of interdisciplinary training and research programs.