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University of Rhode Island

Superfund Research Program

Training Core

Project Leader: Bongsup P. Cho
Grant Number: P42ES027706
Funding Period: 2017-2022

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Project Summary (2017-2022)

The major scientific theme of the University of Rhode Island-led Sources, Transport, Exposure, and Effects of PFASs (STEEP) Superfund Research Program Center is to provide solutions to addressing emerging poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), reducing human exposure, training, and engaging affected communities. In collaboration with the Community Engagement Core (CEC) and Research Translation Core (RTC), the STEEP Training Core (TC) is providing their trainees (pre- and post-doctoral levels) with resources and opportunities to become skilled scientists/engineers in addressing various aspects of emerging contaminants, specifically the scientific, remediation, community, and translational facets of PFASs.

The STEEP TC is capitalizing on the multi-institutional strength, centered on emerging contaminants, and innovative and interdisciplinary training activities. In the STEEP Center, there are four science projects involving seven PI/senior investigators. Therefore, the TC aims to maintain 10 to 12 fully supported graduate students as primary STEEP predoctoral trainees throughout the grant cycle. Additional graduate students are supported as secondary STEEP trainees using Center funds. In addition, two STEEP fellowships supporting students from underrepresented groups are being added through the URI Graduate School Diversity Program. These graduate trainees are expected to be engaged fully in their rigorous interdisciplinary training activities. The researchers envision four to six postdoctoral slots fully supported by the STEEP Program. Since the postdoctoral training period is on average two to three years, STEEP aim to support 8-12 postdoctoral trainees over the entire five-year funding period. The projected number of participating pre- and post-doctoral trainees may vary depending on the nature of individual projects; however, it is expected that each project would have a well-balanced pre- to postdoctoral ratios.

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