The PSG mentorship initiatives are overseen by the Mentoring Committee (MC) and the Coordinator Task Force, along with guidance from the PSG Executive Director. The goal of these groups is to develop and organize innovative programs to promote interest in Parkinson’s disease research, facilitate the development of mentorship relationships, and increase awareness of resources within the PSG that can provide opportunities for initiating research efforts.
The PSG Mentoring Committee (MC) has three main roles.
1. To solicit, review, and select candidates to receive the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation supported mentored clinical research award. This is a major award in support of a project that is a practical training ground for individuals to acquire new skills and expertise in clinical research.
2. To serve as a resource for individuals who need assistance in formulating and developing protocols to the point where they are ready for review by the Scientific Review Committee.
3. To develop and organize innovative programs to promote interest in Parkinson’s disease research, facilitate the development of mentorship relationships, and increase awareness of resources within the PSG that can provide opportunities for initiating research efforts.
The Mentoring Committee oversees the PSG Advisor Program. Implemented in 2009, the PSG Advisor Program helps new investigators find a local mentor or specific research funding sources for their research.
The PSG MCRA is for new investigators in patient-oriented research in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.
The Mentored Clinical Research Award (MCRA) for new investigators is funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) and Sunovion. The PF collaborates with the PSG to encourage the professional and scientific development of young investigators on their path to independence. To this end, this grant supports a new investigator for a one year project in patient oriented research in Parkinson disease (PD) or other parkinsonian disorders. The new investigator works under the mentorship of an experienced investigator. Training should enhance the junior clinical research skills. The research plan should address unmet needs of people living with PD, have the potential for broad application among the PD community, and lead to advances in clinically relevant treatment options.
Call for applications for the 2023 – 2024 PSG MCRA coming Fall 2023.
The PSG Visiting Mentorship Program is funded by a grant from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. The goal of this program is to promote the continued development of newly trained movement disorders clinician-researchers into world-class investigators. This initiative focuses on the mentorship of young investigators committed to clinical research in the Parkinson arena by seasoned, established clinical investigators. While there are several courses and conference that a young investigator can participate in, there is no substitute for a personal mentor-mentee relationship, where the mentor can review the mentee’s proposed initiative(s), and meet with the mentee’s team, local set up, and provide in-person sage advice.
Available funds: PSG will award up to four awards totaling $7,450, including $5,000 for mentor honorarium and $2,450 for travel, meals, and incidentals related to mentoring.
The AAN/PSG Mentorship Forum is entitled “AAN Futures in Clinical Research, Parkinson Study Group Mentoring Session” and is held as an in-conjunction-with meeting at AAN annually. The goal of this event is to provide a forum for discussion of methods, opportunities and obstacles for developing a clinical research career, and to familiarize the participants with the Parkinson Study Group (PSG). The event has an open format, which allows ample time for PSG mentors and attendees to meet and interact in an intimate environment. Representatives from the PSG administrative team will also be on hand to answer questions about the organization and becoming more involved.
The Junior Investigator Workshop is part of an NIH Conference Grant awarded to the PSG to support travel for junior investigators to attend the PSG annual meeting and participate in activities for their early career development. The workshop covers novel research methodologies. Junior investigators completing participation in the project will be substantially better prepared and motivated to pursue careers and studies in clinical neurology.
The workshop is formatted into a 4-hour time block, typically taking place the first day of the PSG Annual Meeting. In order to attend this workshop, junior investigators must apply for the NIH Travel Award via the PSG’s website prior to the annual meeting. Applications will be reviewed by the Mentorship Committee and notification of award will be given to those meeting the criteria. The number of awards per year depends on the quality of the applications and the amount of funding available.
Applications are closed for the 2023 workshop.
The Coordinator Visiting Mentorship Program (CVMP) is an initiative that focuses on the mentorship of new coordinators/sites that are committed to clinical research in the Parkinson arena. While there are several trainings and resources that a new coordinator can utilize, there is no substitute for a personal mentor-mentee relationship. Institutional regulations vary greatly depending on the location and each coordinator/site has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. This program will help them evaluate where their skill set needs the most development and match them with a seasoned coordinator within that specific area of expertise. The mentor will develop a unique training program to hone the coordinators’ skill sets and develop systems to aid their site operationally. The mentorship program takes place over the course of a year through bi-monthly zoom calls, and an in-person visit to the mentee’s institution.
For additional information about the CVMP, click HERE. Stay tuned for details regarding the 2023 – 2024 CVMP and the call for applications.
The Coordinator Webinar Series is a quarterly webinar that is specifically crafted to cover important topics/updates with the clinical research coordinator (CRC) in mind. The topics are chosen by the Coordinator Task Force due to their relevance in the world of PD research. All of the webinars are 1-2 hours in length and open to all PSG members. Registration is required. For upcoming webinar dates, registration, or to view past webinars, click HERE.
The Coordinator Support Line is a newly available resource created for PSG coordinators. As part of the PSG’s mission, we are committed to supporting mentorship and clinical research in Parkinson’s disease. A huge part of that is supporting our sites. As research in the PD field is continuing to thrive, we recognize that has put a lot of pressure on the role of the coordinator in this process. With high levels of turnover in this position currently and coordinator burnout happening all over, the PSG wants to support where we can. If you have a question about a study, if you need to know how to fill out a regulatory form, or anything really, contact us. The PSG Coordinator Task Force will be responding based on the area of expertise and knowledge needed. To learn more or to submit an inquiry, please click HERE.