of implementers and an informed citizenry (including public policy makers and funders).
As in 1994, the majority of prevention scientists are psychologists (Eddy, Smith, et al., 2005). Eddy, Smith, and colleagues (2005) noted “a common inclination” in the field to assess interventions through randomized controlled trials while highlighting an additional approach labeled collaborative community action research. This approach broadens research to include assessment of implementation and also considers quasi-experimental designs as important contributors to prevention science knowledge (Eddy, Smith, et al., 2005).
To explore how these prescriptions for prevention science training have influenced current training, Eddy, Smith, and colleagues (2005) surveyed 262 self-identified prevention scientists across the spectrum of trainees, early investigators, and established researchers in 13 content areas. Areas with the least knowledge, training, and preparedness were new or developing ones (compared with traditional areas), particularly the history of prevention research, funding for prevention research, and the conduct of economic analyses. Early career participants were considerably behind established researchers in the areas of design of preventive intervention trials and community collaboration.
The results suggested that a “learning as you go” or apprentice model prevails and may not be rapidly responsive to the emergence of new content areas. Recommendations for training experiences included testing of various training models, cross-site training opportunities, participation in protocols that are in different phases of development and involve different methodologies, and embedding more prevention science in traditional graduate curricula. For training of postdoctoral scientists, opportunities to standardize curricula and expectations for training outcomes will be limited. Although several efforts have attempted to attract underserved minority trainees into prevention science, success in this area has been limited (Eddy, Martinez, et al., 2002). Such efforts are needed to improve the cultural competence and sensitivity of teams studying risk factors in these populations.
A specific identified need is midcareer training for scientists who wish to switch to the prevention research field (Sandler and Chassin, 2002). Training and funding mechanisms to support these career changes have not been systematically implemented and represent an important future opportunity.