The Native Investigator Development Program is a career-building effort that trains American Indians and Alaska Natives in the skills and knowledge they need to launch careers as independently funded researchers in health sciences and health policy. Participants are selected among Native applicants who have already obtained an MD, a JD, or a PhD in a field related to health science or policy. Program personnel, resources, and activities originate from Washington State University in Seattle and the University of Colorado-Denver.
The Native Investigator Development Program has the following goals:
- Increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native professionals capable of conducting research in areas of high priority for Native elders, especially research to reduce health disparities and achieve population health equity.
- Establish mentoring relationships between senior scholars and Native investigators to study health disparities and develop interventions to improve the health of aging American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Improve the methodological skills of Native investigators through participation in data analyses and pilot research projects in Native health.
- Enable each Native investigator to submit a competitive application for a career development award that will enable him or her to continue on the path toward independence as an investigator studying issues in the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
This career development program provides intensive, long-term mentoring of promising American Indian and Alaska Native scholars who have earned graduate or professional degrees. Program activities are modeled on the highly successful Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.