Sunshine Education & Research Center


Targeted Research Training

Targeted Research Training (TRT)

This Sunshine ERC program provides targeted research training in occupational health and safety interventions including identifying needs, and designing, conducting, delivering, and evaluating interventions. The Sunshine ERC focus is on health and safety issues relevant to hospitality/tourism workers. Topics include, but are not limited to, precarious work, violence, safety, intervention implementation and evaluation, health disparities, migrant workers, youth workers, and aging workers. This Sunshine ERC TRT program is based in the Department of Psychology, College of Sciences, University of Central Florida with a mandate to provide trained interventions professionals, interdisciplinary experiences, and outreach opportunities.

This training program helps to meet these needs by preparing Sunshine ERC trainees to identify, evaluate, and ultimately intervene effectively in the workplace with a special mission to address the challenges faced by hospitality/tourism workers. Of the 18 ERCs around the country, none are focused on hospitality/tourism workers despite the fact that this is an occupational group that is quite vulnerable. Another unique feature of the training program is that it will focus on designing, delivering, and evaluating the impact of occupational safety and health interventions. This is crucial if these interventions will ultimately be used by organizations.

The goal of our program is to provide targeted research training in the areas of occupational health and safety interventions with an applications area relevant to hospitality/tourism workers The overarching goal is to train Sunshine ERC students who will have productive careers in occupational health and safety, and who will contribute to addressing the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations. As members of the Sunshine ERC, trainees are expected to contribute to the research base of the field and to engage in dissemination and research-to-practice activities during their studies and in their careers. The TRT program will equip students with the knowledge and skills to identify, develop, deliver, evaluate, and disseminate occupational health and safety interventions. Specific goals include recruitment and retention of high caliber trainees, trainee involvement in applied research projects and research-to-practice activities, trainee presentations of research projects at relevant regional and national conferences, publications of research projects, and trainee placement in careers that will enable them to make continued impacts in areas relevant to the TRT.

Program Highlights:

  • A focus on both scientific research and evidence-based interventions to improve the safety and health of hospitality workers in the State of Florida.
  • The TRT Program has leveraged the expertise of researchers and students within the Sunshine ERC.
  • The TRT Program has an active and engaged Advisory Board which includes representatives from the hospitality industry, academia, and NIOSH. This ensures that the program maintains a high level of scientific rigor, while also meeting the needs of the hospitality industry.
  • Our program benefits from a collaborative partnership with Rosen College of Hospitality.

For more information or to become involved in many ongoing projects, please contact:
Mindy Shoss, PhD

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