A major RCMAR goal is to increase the number of researchers who focus on minority aging health and to enhance the diversity of the scientific workforce through mentorship in research skills and career development. Mentoring is the primary responsibility of the Investigator Development Core (IDC), which works with junior faculty who are referred to as RCMAR Scholars .
The RCMAR program was started 1997 and has provided mentorship, training, and pilot research support to hundreds of Scholars. RCMAR Scholars come from a wide range of disciplines and most study social and behavioral influences on the health and health care of older African-American, Latino/Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and underserved Asian populations. A growing number of RCMAR Scholars work in translational science, to assist in the application of new knowledge to solving community and societal problems.
RCMAR IDC’s have identified five core competencies for informing, skill-building, and providing critical feedback to RCMAR Scholars across the centers:
- research proposal development;
- scientific writing;
- knowledge related to racial/ethnic minority aging and health disparities;
- communication of findings to both scientific and lay audiences – including multidisciplinary audiences; and
- research methods (including strategies to include and retain minority research participants).
The RCMAR Centers use different approaches to provide support and/or instruction in these areas, as well as providing more general career development. Most centers include training and mentorship in community-partnered scholarship.
Funded pilot projects are the core of the RCMAR scholar experience. To prepare Scholars to be competitive for NIH funding, Centers evaluate scholars according to metrics based on numbers and types of scientific papers published, competitive grants awarded, research findings and discovery, and success with career promotion and milestones.
CADC (University of California, San Francisco) Measurement Core Website Recommends and provides information on measures (many in English and Spanish) of several determinants of health and health disparities including socioeconomic status, interpersonal processes of care, perceived discrimination, and culture in the medical encounter. It additionally provides annotated bibliographies on methodological topics including recruitment and measurement issues in diverse populations, developing and/or translating surveys, and locating appropriate measures for use in health disparities research.
CHIME (University of California, Los Angeles) Measurement Core Website contains presentations on methods, several instruments in English and Spanish (including the SF-36, Patient's Views on Health Care, and Kidney Disease Quality of Life), materials on qualitative methods, and extensive links to methods resources in English and Spanish.
MCUAAAR (University of Michigan & Wayne State University) Measurement Core Website contains information about upcoming seminars and workshops. It additionally provides research training to junior investigators through partnerships and expert consultations on measurement and design issues.
NERC (University of Colorado) American Indian and Alaska Native Methods and Measurement Resources contain Quality of Life and Health-related Quality of Life Measures, Mental Health Measures for depression English and non-English, reviews and summaries of measures, racial and ethnic identity, religiosity, epidemiological, measure development issues, methods of scale construction and other references.