The objective of the Pittsburgh Basic Biology of Aging Scholars Program is to provide multi-faceted support for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the establishment of four activities. The specific immediate goals of this program are to increase attendance at monthly seminars, build stronger collaborative research teams, and provide an exceptional environment of training and mentoring with an eventual goal to procure a T32 training grant in the biology of aging. The program includes:
Graduate student and post-doctoral fellowship trainees will be invited to participate in monthly peer-review of their ongoing research projects in order to learn to give and receive constructive feedback, develop collaborative research projects, and to increase their scientific rigor for the submission of the highest quality and impactful work for publication. Two trainees per month will present for 30 minutes each, with an additional 15 minutes dedicated to group discussion for feedback. The Basic Biology of Aging work group organizers will coordinate personal invitations to faculty members from across campus with expertise in the area relevant to the presenting trainees. Lunch will be served.
Four times over the course of the year, we will invite external speakers who are conducting cutting-edge work on the biology of aging to present a seminar. To provide additional opportunities for professional networking and mentorship, trainees participating in the Scholars program will be invited to join the external speaker for a closed “Trainee Luncheon”. The luncheon will be limited to up to 10 trainees. Those trainees with research interests directly related to that of the external speaker will be given priority.
Post-doctoral trainees participating in the Scholars Program will be invited to submit pilot applications in support of highly innovative, team-based, transdisciplinary, and translational science in the field of the basic biology of aging. A training plan prepared by the trainee and mentor(s) must also accompany the application. Priority will be given to highly innovative collaborative projects involving Principle Investigators from across two different laboratories.
Two pilot projects in the amount of up to $25,000 each will be distributed in FY16. Awardees will be asked to submit quarterly progress reports. An RFA will be released in the fall of 2015.
In FY16, we will award one Pittsburgh Basic Biology of Aging postdoctoral fellowship. This fellowship will provide two years of salary plus fringe support in the amount of up to $55,000/year as well as up to $20,000/year to offset research costs. An RFA will be released in the fall of 2015, which will solicit career development and research plan proposals prepared by the trainee and PI(s). Submitted proposals will be reviewed with an emphasis on the scientific merit of the research, the overall innovative or novel nature of the project, the level of novel, cross-disciplinary interactions, and mentoring plan.
Funding consideration will be given to highly innovative collaborative projects involving mentors from across two different laboratories. Fellows will be asked to submit quarterly progress reports.
Graduate student and post-doctoral fellowship trainees participating in the Scholars Program will have the opportunity to apply for travel funds that will support the attendance and participation (poster or oral presentation) in national meetings relevant to the field of the basic biology of aging. Up to $5,000 in travel awards will be distributed in FY16.