This advanced research and training program will expand the pool of scholars conducting rigorous IDD community living research in racially and ethnically diverse communities through training up to six postdoctoral fellows from diverse backgrounds. The training program will include working with a lived-experience advisory board, didactic preparation, a primary and secondary mentorship program, and collegial and collaborative activities in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the University of Texas campus. Learning objectives include ethics in research, substantive IDD knowledge, methodological skills, science communication, grant writing and career development. A unique aspect of this program is to train fellows to work with and gain feedback from self-advocate and family member advisors.

Trainee outcomes include publishing two to three papers per year, presenting their work at one national conference per year, creating two to three plain language products for community members each year, preparing one grant for submission to a federal funding source, and obtaining at least one job offer by the conclusion of their training program. Postdoctoral fellows are supported by an accomplished team of primary and secondary mentors with a range of research opportunities related to autism/IDD and other disabilities, underserved communities, and/or racial and ethnic inequities.