Research Mentoring

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine partnership with RAND and MRDRC

The Retirement and Disability Research Education and Training Seminar (RDR Seminar) is a collaboration between CDU, RAND, and MRDRC to offer a two-part workshop series.

The workshops aim to mentor, train, and provide research support for early- and/or mid-career researchers at CDU.

The goal is to help these researchers develop successful and impactful careers in retirement and disability policy research.

CDU is an ideal training partner for MRDRC due to its designations as a minority-serving institution, Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI), and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).

Additionally, CDU’s research enterprise focuses on addressing health disparities through community-engaged research.

CDU has identified six faculty and fellows from underrepresented backgrounds who are pursuing careers in biomedical health professional sciences and who have demonstrated potential for research.

These individuals also have a particular interest in retirement and disability research to be eligible for the RDR Seminar program. MRDRC and RAND provide program mentors drawn from their networks of Social Security policy researchers. The workshops will be held at CDU and will be organized around brainstorming research ideas within the focal areas of the SSA learning agenda. The program will also include training workshops that teach participants how to develop well-defined research questions and the necessary steps to create a successful research proposal.

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About the Program

The main objectives of the seminar are to provide training and career development opportunities for its participants, as well as to help them create successful research proposals.

The program will create a supportive environment that offers education in retirement and disability research and increases the likelihood of the participants becoming independent investigators.

The seminar will promote diversity in the retirement and disability professional community in general, and within MRDRC’s researcher network in particular. It will focus on providing training that enables researchers from HBCUs/MSIs to use their experiences and perspectives to tackle the Social Security Administration’s current and future focal areas.

These areas include addressing barriers faced by program applicants and participants, reducing disparities among beneficiaries, and improving understanding of the effectiveness of SSA’s communications with different communities.

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