Campus: Long Beach -- August 15, 2006

Cal State Long Beach Psychology Department Receives $1.3 Million Grant from National Institute of Mental Health

California State University, Long Beach, has been awarded a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to support the Department of Psychology's Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (MRISP).

The grant was awarded to CSULB based on a proposal submitted by a group headed by John Jung, a professor emeritus of psychology who will serve as the program director, and Chi-Ah Chun, an associate professor in psychology.

"The aim of NIMH in creating this type of award is to invest in institutions with a heavily minority enrollment and junior faculty having the research ability and potential to develop successful grant applications on topics of high priority to the mission of NIMH," Jung said. "With this funding, we can bring in outside consultants who have considerable experience in writing and receiving grants. These mentors will communicate this knowledge by working with the faculty here. The goal is that in the next two to three years our faculty participants in MRISP will be able to write grants that will get funded."

MRISP is a program that offers support to faculty interested in mental health research. The program promotes rigorous and high quality research toward reducing mental health disparities.

"There's basically two parts to this grant," Jung pointed out. "One is the training/mentoring aspect which included formulation of a curriculum involving workshops on cutting edge and advanced research methods."

The five "junior" faculty in the program, called fellows, each receive a training stipend to free them from some teaching duties so they can devote more effort to developing their research. They are associate professors Sherry Span and Young Hee Cho, and assistant professors Courtney Ahrens and Guido Urizar from psychology, as well as assistant professor Karen Quintiliani from anthropology.

"Their task is to acquire this knowledge to help them advance their research," Jung explained. "They are funded to learn all of the strategies, methods and techniques to enhance the success of their future grant proposals."

The second portion of the MRISP involves two proposed research projects dealing with important mental health issues and involving rigorous methodology that demonstrated merit to an NIMH peer review committee which evaluated and recognized their merit as solid research projects. One project is a study by psychology professors James Amirkhan and Chun titled "Coping with Stress by Korean Immigrants." The other project is by associate professors Beth Manke and Shelley Erickson from Human Development, whose research topic is "Coping of Siblings of Type 2 Diabetic Children."

"For this portion of our grant application, our researchers provided detailed descriptions of their research projects, including describing details of how they were going to do the study, justifying how much money they needed and how it was to be used, explaining hypotheses they were going to test, and describing the significance of the research," Jung said. "The NIMH review committee felt our program was sound and that our researchers are doing well-designed research with strong conceptual foundations on really important topics, as our MRISP was the only one in the nation that got funded this year."


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