Research Scholars Program

The purpose of the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program is to mentor an identified cadre of outstanding scholars and to provide them with the support and training needed to develop independent research careers in women’s health. There is a demonstrated need to expand research in women’s health, and to increase the number of excellent researchers in women’s health and gender-based medicine. The program recruits, selects and trains junior faculty in conducting clinical and health services research on women’s health issues. The focus of research training and research is on addressing the needs of underserved, minority and elderly women, specifically:

  • Prevention research, with focus on behavioral, cultural and health service delivery influences on risk and lifestyle change, in addressing the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes;
  • Health services outcomes and effectiveness, especially investigating outcomes in ethnic and racial minority communities;
  • Addiction medicine, with particular focus on adverse outcomes of alcoholism, and interactions of gender, violence and HIV;
  • Issues of aging women, including the prevention of functional decline, diabetes and cardiovascular disease management, and cancer outcomes; and
  • Consequences of multiple caregiver roles, especially in the chronic care of women with disabilities, elders and those with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Program’s structured training curriculum has five key components that will be tailored to meet each Scholar’s training needs:

  • Mentoring. Scholars will have guidance provided by a strong mentoring system that will address research as well as career development. Mentoring is overseen by the Program Director, with input from the Principal Investigator and the Advisory Board.
  • Formal research training. Scholars who have completed their clinical training, but have no formal research training, will be enrolled in one of the MSc degree programs in Epidemiology, Health Services Research or Clinical Research to gain skills in research methodology.
  • Interdisciplinary research seminars. All Scholars will participate in a series of required seminars. These include the BIRCWH interdisciplinary research seminars, and the Boston Medical Center course on the responsible conduct of research. Scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in a number of other seminar and training opportunities, including the Center of Excellence in Geriatrics and the interdisciplinary CREST program (Boston University’s Clinical Research Training Program funded by NIH).
  • Mentored research project. All Scholars will complete a mentored research project, utilizing the Core Resource Laboratory for technical assistance in the planning, conduct and analysis of their data.
  • Grant proposal development. All Scholars will receive mentoring and guidance in the preparation of their first grant applications, as it is an expectation that all Scholars will have independent funding by the end of their tenure in the program.

We have received funding for the BIRCWH program from the Office of Women’s Health Research at the National Institutes of Health through August, 2012.

We are currently accepting applications with an anticipated start date of January 2011. Applications are due by October 29, 2010.