Each U54 faculty member is hired into a tenure-track assistant professor position in the department/college best fitting their professional background and program of research and receives a primary appointment with a Center in the Equity Research Corner. The Center director serves as the faculty member’s sponsor. In addition, each U54 faculty member will be matched with an internal and external mentor to promote their research and professional development.
In addition to active mentorship and sponsorship, the FLORIDA-FIRST Brigade offers a 3-year program beginning immediately after hire that leverages FSU's CTSA Translational Workforce Development initiatives and programs developed for early-career investigators in the KL2 program (Director: Dr. Naar). The mission of the CTSA is to engage communities in developing and testing biobehavioral interventions across the translational spectrum to address sociocultural determinants of health. The primary goal of this "K Scholars" program is to educate and train diverse, multidisciplinary early-stage investigators across FSU. Our rationale is based on the following premises:
- Clinical and translational researchers share a need for core competencies and skills including research design, clinical trials operations, ethical considerations, site and study management, data management, communication, and conflict resolution.
- Early phase investigators should be prepared as leaders, managers, and contributors to future research teams. Faculty development must include leadership and professionalism as an integral part of clinical/ translational research training, underpinning all other competencies.
- Interprofessional training in team science and collaboration further enhances trainees' effectiveness on research teams of the future.