Since its inception in 2001, a recurring strategic goal of the American Urological Association (AUA) Office of Research has been to nurture the success of young investigators in urology research. In recent years, this idea of recruiting top junior investigators in urology research, scientist and clinician alike, to attend a workshop that would focus on mentoring, scientific review, sources of independent funding and grant writing has been at the forefront in Research Strategic Planning Meetings and Research Council Workgroups, especially those between the AUA and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
In 2007, the AUA Research Council Workgroup on “Nurturing Young Investigators” was the first to suggest the introduction of a program that would recruit top junior investigators in urology research, MD and PhD, to attend a workshop that would focus on mentoring, scientific review, sources of independent funding, and grant writing. That idea was also reinforced during the Research Grant Quality Initiative in November 2008, when a National Urology Research Preceptorship Program stressing the importance of successful grant writing was discussed. For several years, discussions between the AUA and the NIDDK have stressed the need for an improvement in the quality of grant submissions in urologic research.
The New Investigator Workshop
Sponsored by the AUA and the NIDDK, the goal of this three-day workshop is to motivate and support young scientists and urologists by providing an outstanding mentoring/career development/scientific program presented by leaders in the field. Designed for those who wish to submit competitive research proposals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the workshop is facilitated by leaders in the field who have substantial track records of career achievement and NIH research funding.
The meeting agenda is designed to provide information necessary to foster career success and provide attendees with a solid foundation for successful grant writing. There are opportunities for attendees to interact with senior scientific advisors in small group and one-on-one sessions.
Overall the program consists of four segments: