Training Opportunities

Prevention And Methodology Training (PAMT) Program

(Pre- and Post-doctoral)

The Prevention And Methodology Training program (PAMT) has been funded by NIDA since July 1, 2005. This training program was developed and established to advance the science of drug abuse prevention. Prevention research is complex, requiring the application of new methods and analytic strategies to maximize the lessons to be learned from field trials of prevention strategies (e.g., Collins & Flaherty, 2003). At the same time, methodological advances need to be grounded in the reality of field work: measurement issues, research designs, and the accompanying data analysis strategies must be fully responsive to the complexities of conducting field work in applied settings. There is a pressing need both for prevention researchers with advanced methodological training, and methodologists who have experience “in the trenches” of prevention field work; in other words, for scientists who can integrate prevention and methodology.

The main objective of the PAMT program is to produce two types of well-trained scientists. One is prevention scientists who apply the most appropriate methodology in their research and are able to do this even when the methodology is advanced and cutting-edge. The other is methodologists who understand and are committed to prevention, and who work on improving and disseminating methodology for use in prevention research. We are able to achieve this objective by training fellows within our two well-established and vibrant research centers at Penn State, the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) and the Methodology Center (MC). The close collaboration of these two centers, whose integration has been further propelled by this interdisciplinary training program, has successfully trained 21 young productive scientists since its inception.

Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists (TIES)

(Pre- and Post-doctoral)

Building on a strong foundation of federally funded research on literacy and social/emotional development, faculty from the Colleges of Education, Health and Human Development, and the Liberal Arts have established an interdisciplinary training program in educational sciences that will bridge resources and doctoral training across Penn State. The goal of the TIES program is to prepare educational scientists with expertise in the development and evaluation of interventions aimed at promoting literacy and social/emotional competence in children and youth.

The TIES program involves faculty from 10 departments across the three participating colleges and includes 17 members with expertise in the development and evaluation of literacy and social and emotional interventions and 14 members with expertise in advanced research methods and statistics including the design and analysis of cluster randomized trials. In addition, six interdisciplinary research centers at Penn State (Center for Educational and Developmental Sciences; Child Study Center; Prevention Research Center; Children, Youth, and Families Consortium; Center for Human Development and Family Research in Diverse Contexts; and Methodology Center) will support the activities of the TIES program.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Training Program (COPT)

(Pre-doctoral)

COPT is a new interdisciplinary doctoral graduate training program, which involves collaboration among several units in the College of Health and Human Development, including the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the Center for Childhood Obesity Research, the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, and the Methodology Center. COPT’s mission is to prepare a new generation of scientists to address the childhood obesity epidemic. The program will provide transdisciplinary graduate education, integrating training in human development and family studies and nutritional sciences with prevention research and statistical methodology.

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