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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 19, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 3
SoN Receives Funding to Continue Support of Student Training Abroad

By Kelly Brooks-Staub
School of Nursing

Over the next four years, students at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and other academic institutions will continue to have the opportunity to receive research training abroad, due to the receipt of a Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training award from the National Institutes of Health.

To date, the Johns Hopkins program has received more than $2.1 million from NIH — approximately $1.2 million for 2000-2005, and now an additional $900,000 to continue the program for the next four years. The grants are given as part of a long-term NIH strategy to establish a cadre of biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science researchers that understands health disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States.

"We are very excited to have four more years to provide this training for our students," said Fannie Gaston-Johansson, the Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair in Research at the School of Nursing. Gaston-Johansson, a professor, is also the principal investigator for the Global Health Promotion Research Program, which is funded through the award. "Through this program, I have seen many students make tremendous strides in their careers and academic lives."

The undergraduate, graduate and health professions students who are chosen for the program are from health disparities populations and/or are underrepresented in health research career fields. Each student becomes part of a research team consisting of the student, a faculty member from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a faculty member from an international collaborating institution. As part of the team, the student spends three months abroad, receiving training and hands-on experience in literature review, data collection, research methodologies, writing results, and attending and presenting at research conferences.

"After an international experience in the program, students become more effective scientists in a multicultural and global environment," Gaston-Johansson said. "This is a key component of the program: to provide opportunity and encouragement for top-notch students from populations that suffer from health disparities or economic disadvantage. Many of the students go on to attend graduate school and become researchers themselves."

Since 2000, 47 undergraduate students, 20 graduate students, seven U.S. faculty members and 17 foreign faculty members have participated in the program. Training activities have been conducted in Israel, England, Australia, Sweden, South Africa and South Korea.


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