Marilie Gammon is the director of the Career Development Program.
Fostering career development is a fundamental aspect of the mission of the Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility.
The desire to expand our Center’s career development efforts led us to our current strategy, which utilizes multiple approaches to support development of environmental health scientists at all career stages. Our approach includes mechanisms to support junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, physician-scientists, and mid-career and senior faculty interested in pursuing research questions on environmental health, particularly for issues that draw upon the expertise of multiple disciplines.We supplement activities that are designed for investigators at all career stages – such as the Pilot Projects Program, the seminar series, scientific retreats, and Facility Cores – with mentoring activities and training grant opportunities that are primarily directed towards junior investigators. This emphasis on junior investigators is purposeful: we view them as the future of the Center and an essential component of the infrastructure of the nation’s next generation of leaders in environmental health research. In addition, these latter activities also end up enhancing the trajectory of the more senior faculty as well.
Our revised approach to career development allows us to build upon the existing strengths of the Center, particularly the scientific diversity and size of our CEHS membership, which includes multiple departments, programs, and training opportunities within the Gillings School of Global Public Health (Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nutrition, and Maternal and Child Health), Medical School (Pathology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Genetics , Cell and Developmental Biology, Cell and Molecular Physiology, Pediatrics, Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatology, Orthopaedics, Biomedical Engineering, and Toxicology Curriculum), School of Pharmacy, and College of Arts and Science (Biology), as well as other UNC Centers and Institutes (Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute – NC TraCS, Carolina Population Center; Interdisciplinary Obesity Center; Autism Center; and the Clinical Nutrition Center).
In accordance with recent changes in NIEHS Guidelines, all career development endeavors will constitute a separate program and will be a formal responsibility of the Administrative Core.
Specifically, our Career Development Program includes:
- The CEHS Pilot Projects Program, with pilot project award opportunities that specifically target junior faculty, physician-scientists, and large interdisciplinary projects led by senior faculty;
- Seminar series focused on bringing outside speakers to enhance our CEHS scientific discourse;
- CEHS scientific retreats that address a specific theme and include poster presentations of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and our facility cores;
- Availability of the CEHS core facilities, each with clear training and consultation services;
- Mentoring program, led by senior CEHS members, directed towards junior faculty and other junior investigators, which includes a grant writing course for assistant professors and advanced postdoctoral trainees;
- Training grants, led by senior Center members, or other opportunities that will support students engaged in environmental health research; the latter include providing additional classroom training opportunities by utilizing the expertise of the members of our new Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core and the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core; and
- Return to providing partial salary support, targeted to recruiting new junior faculty focused on environmental health research.