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Enhance Scientific Stewardship at the NIDCD
Research Training and Career Development at the NIDCD
The number of Americans with communication disorders is expected to rise as the nation’s older population increases and as survival rates improve for a wide range of medical conditions associated with communication disorders. As such, the NIDCD recognizes the importance of research training and career development opportunities to ensure a productive, creative, and innovative cadre of qualified scientists in basic, clinical, and translational research. The NIDCD is continuously adapting its research training and career development efforts to help new scientists establish careers in our mission areas, encourage clinicians to pursue opportunities in translational research, and build shared research resources.
The field of human communication sciences needs interdisciplinary research teams of clinicians and basic scientists to bridge the gap between laboratory research and patient care. Clinicians need a deeper understanding of the latest research discoveries to bring new diagnostic and treatment approaches into the clinic. Basic researchers need a thorough understanding of the needs, challenges, and opportunities faced by clinicians. The NIDCD believes that cross training these scientists could spark new ways to better prevent, detect, and treat communication and chemosensory disorders. Interdisciplinary teams of basic scientists and clinicians—including physicians, surgeons, and audiologists—will then be able to initiate and support new directions for scientific discovery, conduct hypothesis-driven clinical trials, assess new diagnostic tools and interventions, and improve public health and well-being.
Workforce Diversity at the NIDCD
Because human communication disorders cross all social and ethnic groups, the NIDCD recognizes the benefit of a diverse interdisciplinary workforce to tackle the world’s diverse public health needs. In addition, the NIDCD recognizes the underrepresentation of minority scientists in its research and research training activities and diligently works to increase participation of researchers from underrepresented groups. To this end, the NIDCD has made it a priority to increase the number of minorities, individuals with communication disorders, and individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds in the research enterprise. The NIDCD strives to attract and encourage individuals to consider research careers in the communication sciences at the NIDCD or at NIDCD-supported institutions to enable the research community to be in a position to advance the NIDCD mission and to meet the future health needs of individuals with communication disorders.
Health Disparities Research at the NIDCD
Human communication disorders cross all social and ethnic groups. The NIDCD conducts research to understand the basis of health disparities within its mission areas by determining how communication disorders may contribute to, or be worsened by, differences in health among populations. Recognizing that minorities and individuals with communication disorders are underrepresented in NIDCD-sponsored research and research training activities, the NIDCD is working to increase participation of individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds. Participation of minority or underserved populations in NIDCD-sponsored research advances the NIDCD mission and ensures that everyone benefits from human communication research.
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