The purpose of this program, directed by Walt Jesteadt, Ph.D., is to furnish postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to develop and broaden their research capabilities in one or a combination of scientific disciplines related to human communication and its disorders. A number of exceptional features associated with the program are particularly advantageous to trainees, including:
- A training faculty of full-time scientists to serve as sponsors
- A staff of research-oriented clinicians with access to a large and varied patient population
- Modern, well-equipped laboratories and diagnostic clinics
- A stimulating mix of fundamental and clinically relevant research projects
- A strong core support staff
A T32 institutional postdoctoral training grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides stipends for three trainees. Additional positions are supported by individual R01s . Trainees in these positions receive regular salaries rather than stipends, but we make an effort to maintain comparable levels of support regardless of the source of funding.
Description of Training
The principal component of our postdoctoral training is research in collaboration with, or under the supervision of, one or more experienced investigators on a mutually determined research problem. Training always involves direct participation by the postdoctoral fellow in all aspects of research, from planning to manuscript preparation.
The training program encourages interdisciplinary approaches where feasible and provides an opportunity for the trainees to gain at least some research experience in disciplines not directly related to their area of interest. Finally, the program encourages the trainees to become familiar with communication disorders and with the primary clinical procedures used in their assessment and treatment.
The goals of the postdoctoral training program are reached through a combination of supervised research, seminars and elective courses. NIH strongly encourages postdoctoral fellows to complete a minimum of two years of research training and limits stipend-supported training to a maximum of three years.
As part of the T32 training program, postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to prepare and submit applications for individual (F32) postdoctoral fellowships after they come to Boys Town National Research Hospital. This provides a structured planning process for the postdoctoral research program, gives the applicant experience in NIH grant preparation, results in external review of the proposed research, and releases T32 funds for additional trainees.
Trainees are selected from PhD's, DSc's, MD's and MD-PhD's in areas relevant to the ongoing research programs such as the various sub-disciplines of biology, psychology, physiology, audiology, and genetics. Candidates are selected on the basis of their demonstrated research capability and their likelihood of benefiting from and contributing to areas of ongoing research at Boys Town National Research Hospital. Particular attention is paid to identifying and recruiting qualified candidates among minorities and women.