Because the researchers participating in the Texas A&M University Superfund Research Center’s projects and cores represent a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, a highly interdisciplinary and cohesive research training program is required to reduce challenges. The Training Core serves as a central hub for science and practice learning by creating ample opportunities for the integration and professional development of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Led by Ivan Rusyn and Weihsueh Chiu, at Texas A&M University, this core will focus, across projects and cores, on the recruitment of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows; interdisciplinary learning through collaborative projects; targeted skill-building workshops; trainee job development through the exposure to career choices in academia, government, and industry; and by placing student trainees with mentors and co-mentors. A distinctive feature of the core will be a trainee exchange program across center components or with outside stakeholders involved in emergency response to environmental disasters. All of the programs will work to further the research agenda in environmental health, aim to advance research translation in the environmental health sciences, train the next generation of leaders in a wider range of scientific disciplines and diverse backgrounds, and enable future environmental health scientists to work across a wide array of fields.
- Recruit motivated and qualified pre- and postdoctoral fellows into projects and cores in the Superfund Center.
- Create a cohesive environment for interdisciplinary learning through collaborative projects across multiple projects and cores.
- Augment trainees’ existing graduate and postdoctoral programs with targeted skill-building workshops on social, economic, scientific, legal, and practical aspects of emergency response, site cleanup, and regulatory decision-making.
- Facilitate trainee career development through strongly encouraged externships across Superfund Center components or with federal or state regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations, or industry stakeholders.