UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM
This grant provided a summer research experience for 1 college students in health-related scientific research. This award supplements 5R01HD058573-02, "Using Virtual Reality to Train Children in Pedestrian Safety", a Randomized Controlled Trial research project designed to test virtual reality versus alternative strategies as a mechanism to train 7- and 8-year-old children in safe road-crossing skills. Supplemental funding is being used to train an undergraduate student in research, and will accomplish two primary goals. First, the supplemental funding provides the parent project with extra staffing during its early phases (funding began March 1, 2009), and therefore permits acceleration of the originally proposed data collection phase of the study. Ultimately this will permit increased time for data analysis and result dissemination at the end of the funding period. Second, the supplemental funding offers an intensive research training opportunity for an undergraduate student planning to pursue a career in health-related research. Under the mentorship of the PI, the student is conducting a small "spin-off" study using data related to the parent project. She will conduct that research from start to finish, and present results at a national or international scientific meeting.
Students will be recruited for this opportunity through a competitive application process that elicits applicants from various sources, including three honors programs at UAB. The PI has a strong track record of undergraduate student mentorship, and will utilize his wealth of experience in mentorship for the proposed project.
Consistent with the goals of the ARRA, this application will create a summer job for an undergraduate student and will preserve jobs for the rest of the research team. It will accelerate the proposed research plan and assist with local and national economic development in numerous ways. More broadly, we note that UAB is Alabama¿s largest employer, responsible for 52,900 full-time equivalent jobs within the university and the community. Eight in every 100 jobs in the Birmingham area, and 2.8 jobs in every 100 jobs in Alabama, are related to UAB. UAB's overall economic impact in the Birmingham metro area exceeds $3 billion annually.