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Research Training and Career Development at NIDCD

The number of Americans with communication disorders is expected to increase as the nation’s older population increases and as survival rates improve for a wide range of medical conditions associated with communication disorders. In response, the NIDCD has placed an emphasis on research training and career development opportunities to ensure a productive, creative, and innovative cadre of qualified scientists. The NIDCD is continuously adapting its research training and career development efforts to encourage new investigators and build shared research resources. As in health disparities research, the NIDCD recognizes the underrepresentation of various minority and specific populations, such as individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing (HoH), in its research training activities and works diligently to increase participation of individuals from these groups in its training activities to further its research mission, and ensure that all populations are served by human communication research. (More information on training and career development programs is available on the NIDCD website, including support for new investigators in the “NIDCD and Your Research Career” brochure and on the Support for New Investigators page.

The field of human communication sciences needs interdisciplinary research teams of clinicians and basic scientists to bridge the gap between research conducted in a laboratory and active patient care. Clinicians need a deeper understanding of the latest research discoveries to bring new treatments into the clinic. Basic researchers need a more thorough understanding of the needs, challenges, and opportunities faced by clinicians. The cross training of these scientists may help spark new ways of thinking about treatment approaches. Interdisciplinary teams (clinician-researcher M.D., Au.D., and Ph.D.) will be able to initiate and support new directions for scientific discovery, execute hypothesis-driven clinical trials, and assess new therapies.