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Wayne State University

Superfund Research Program

Research Experience & Training Coordination Core

Project Leader: Michael C. Petriello
Co-Investigator: Donna Rebecca Kashian (University of Michigan)
Grant Number: P42ES030991
Funding Period: 2022-2027
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2022-2027)

The Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) seeks to prepare the next generation of leaders to effectively address complex environmental health problems, particularly the impact of vapor intrusion of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on preterm birth and associated adverse health outcomes in post-industrial urban settings, through professional careers in the environmental and/or biomedical sciences. The preparation of skilled transdisciplinary, team-scientists requires a systems approach that integrates diverse disciplines, stakeholders, and experiential learning opportunities. Building on Wayne State University’s (WSU) strength as an urban R1 institution, the most diverse campus in Michigan, and a partner for Detroit in addressing social justice and equity issues, the Research Engagement and Training Coordination Core (RETCC) coordinates problem-based, solution-oriented research experiences and training.

In Aim 1, RETCC promotes a systems approach to transdisciplinary training for a diverse group of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows by promoting the use of an individualized development planning (IDP) system to integrate planning, monitoring, and feedback across a range of experiential learning opportunities based on trainee professional goals and guided by their transdisciplinary competency model; supporting diversity and inclusion by integrating a range of student pipelines and developing skills in inclusive mentoring excellence; leveraging interdisciplinary graduate courses taught by CLEAR faculty to provide trainees with a Graduate Certificate in Urban Environmental Health; and collaborating with CLEAR project leaders to provide trainees with cross-disciplinary, hands-on field and laboratory research opportunities.

In Aim 2, RETCC coordinates interactive, collaborative, problem-based training opportunities with the Data Management & Analysis Core (DMAC) to offer solution-oriented interactive summer workshops as well as data sharing opportunities and access to DMAC facilities and expertise.

In Aim 3, RETCC facilitates trainees’ ability to generate and apply scientific knowledge in ways that effectively engage stakeholders and communities, and to translate scientific knowledge to inform policy-making and support environmental and social justice through micro-internship opportunities with the Community Engagement Core and the Administrative Core’s Research Translation function.

Aim 4 is focused on enriching career and leadership development of CLEAR trainees, through a CLEAR Leadership Fellowship program to support leadership development in grant and budget management, leading diverse teams, and enhancing their national profile as emerging environmental health science leaders through trainee-led invited speaker series and virtual knowledge exchanges with other Superfund trainees across the country. RETCC also provides funding to support scientific conference travel and pilot studies that incorporate collaborations across disciplines and stakeholders, and coordinate access to WSU state-of-the-art core facilities, expertise, and mentoring.

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