Training in Interdisciplinary Research to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance (TIRAR)

TIRAR, The Center’s Training Grant from 2007-2012

Principal Investigators

Richard Kessin, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University
Elaine Larson, PhD, RNCIC, FAAN
Associate Dean for Research, Columbia University School of Nursing

Project Summary

Funder: National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health
Grant: T90 NR010824
Dates: September 18, 2007 through June 30, 20012
Funding: $1,034,545

The Center for Interdisciplinary Research to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance (CIRAR) aims to prepare biomedical researchers and others in interdisciplinary research with a focus on the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance. A critical component of that goal is the development of the next generation of scholars ready to begin their careers from an interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, through this Training in Interdisciplinary Research to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance, TIRAR (T90/R90), we propose to prepare pre- and post-doctoral scholars for participation and leadership in interdisciplinary research on antimicrobial resistance, specifically by meeting the specific aims:

  1. to create an interdisciplinary research curriculum;
  2. to develop CIRAR pre- and postdoctoral training programs;
  3. to implement a faculty training program in interdisciplinary research; and
  4. to develop and maintain programmatic self-evaluation and revision mechanisms.

The need for this training has been well-documented through the survey of potential students conducted through the CIRAR web site: 143 potential students completed the survey, coming from nursing (23.8%), infectious disease (18.2%), dentistry (17.5%), microbiology/laboratory science (16.1%), medicine (11.9%), and a wide range of other academic fields.

Based on preliminary work to define competencies essential to successful interdisciplinary research, the training program includes three key activities for trainees:

  1. didactic courses in Interdisciplinary Research and Antimicrobial Resistance,
  2. an Interdisciplinary Research Seminar, and
  3. Supervised Field Experience

In addition, our faculty trainers will participate in a Faculty Development Seminar. The faculty development component of the training program will consist of 6 seminars each year on aspects of interdisciplinary education. Each course will be coordinated by an interdisciplinary team of senior researchers and each trainee will be mentored by members of the TIRAR Leadership Team and will be made available to other trainees throughout the University.

We will support 2 pre-doctoral and 2 postdoctoral trainees for 2 years each. Pre-doctoral trainees will be selected from among students who have successfully completed one year of doctoral education in any school of department. Recruitment strategies for both include the CIRAR website and collaborative recruitment with other programs, in particular with Columbia’s Clinical and Translational Science Award.

The training program will be evaluated at several levels, including individual courses, dissertations, post-doctoral field projects, and career trajectory of trainees. These evaluations will be a focal point of discussion in the Faculty Development Seminar, and suitable program modifications will be implemented by the Leadership Team.