Few studies of the health of Native elders have been conducted by, or include, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) researchers. In fact, a recent NIH-sponsored conference on AI training needs reported that only 14 of 35,000 Principal Investigators are AI/AN. The focus of the Native Investigator Development Core is to augment the skills and capabilities of minority researchers. Thus this core seeks:
- To increase the number of AI/AN professionals capable of conducting research in areas of high priority among Native elders, in particular those that reduce the minority/non-minority differential in health status, access to needed care, and the consequences thereof;
- To establish and maintain learning and mentoring relationships between established researchers and previously unfunded AI/AN investigators; to improve the methodological skills of such investigators by participation in a variety of activities including secondary data analyses and Pilot Studies intended to reduce health status and access differentials between Native elders and their non-Native counterparts in the general population; and
- To employ their research activities as the basis for preparing independent investigator-initiated awards led by AI/AN researchers.