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Yale Child Study Center 2022 Trainee Pilot Research Award Recipients Announced

March 30, 2022

The first Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) Trainee Pilot Research Awards were made possible by a generous gift from the Obstler Family Fund.

Made possible by a generous gift from the Obstler Family Fund, the first Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) Trainee Pilot Research Awards were announced on March 16, 2022. YCSC trainees in the Albert J. Solnit integrated training program and psychology, social work, and postdoctoral fellowships were invited to apply for the first round of these awards in late 2021. Recipients and their proposal titles are as follows.

  • Amanda Calhoun, MD, MPH: “A mixed-methods approach to Conceptualizing the Mental Health Sequelae of Anti-Black Racism in Children”
  • Peter Castagna, PhD: “Computational modeling to uncover neural correlates of risk avoidance in youth”
  • Andrew Sheldon, MD, PhD: “Predicting a Need for Care Among Adolescents with Unusual Perceptual Experiences: Computational Methods for Risk Assessment”
  • Tara Thompson-Felix, MD: “Maternal obesity in pregnancy and child neurodevelopment: characterizing the role of fetal-derived extracellular vesicles”

Offering up to $15,000 in research funding, the intent is to provide support for early-stage investigators interested in pursuing careers in academic mental health research. The goals are to: 1) provide funding for initial pilot research projects relevant to child mental health; 2) provide real-time, interactive feedback on early grant applications for trainees; and 3) increase candidates’ competitiveness for future external funding.

Following the submission of applications in December, a review committee came together using an NIH study section meeting format, with two main reviewers providing written critiques and all members scoring the applications. Committee members recused themselves from discussion and voting on any grant in which they are closely associated with the applicant.

Review committee members Kammarauche Aneni, MBBS, MHS; Youngsun Cho, MD, PhD; Christina Cipriano, PhD; Christopher Cutter, PhD; Amanda Dettmer, PhD; Thomas Fernandez, MD; Ellen Hoffman, MD, PhD; and Denis Sukhodolsky, PhD were impressed with the diversity and quality of the submissions. All applicants received detailed feedback that will enhance their future research funding applications.

“These pilot award projects and the award recipients are an excellent representation of future directions of YCSC research,” commented YCSC Vice Chair for Research, Tom Fernandez. The YCSC plans to offer this award again in the next academic year, with letters of intent due December 15, 2022. A new request for applications will be shared with the community in advance of the deadline.

Submitted by Crista Marchesseault on March 30, 2022