The primary aim of the BIRCWH program at VCD is to provide the structured learning environment envisioned by the NIH Roadmap that will encourage growth and development of junior faculty into independent researchers with the investigative, networking, management, publication, and grant-writing skills needed to sustain an interdisciplinary academic career and make significant contributions to the improvement of women's health. Each BIRCWH scholar will be guaranteed at least 75% protected time for research career development and an appropriate balance and assignment of clinical, educational, and/or administrative duties that complement and further advance the scholar's stated career goals. The VCU BIRCWH program enjoys superb leadership from its Principal Investigator (School of Medicine dean) and its Program Co- Directors, both highly successful female faculty (one basic scientist, one physician scientist). The BIRCWH program intersects with several interdisciplinary matrix organizations, such as the Institute for Women's Health National Center of Excellence, Center for Health Disparities, and Center for Translational and Clinical Science. VCU BIRCWH scholars will have the opportunity to investigate the pathogenesis and develop preventive and therapeutic interventions for pre-eclampsia, polycystic ovary syndrome, perinatal depression, preterm birth, low birth weight, vaginal bacteriosis, breast and ovarian cancer, and substance abuse. Scholars will learn innovative methods of conducting community-based health research, statistical analyses focused on distinguishing sex and gender differences in data, and culturally competent research methodology. Scholars will be required to integrate training experiences in clinical and laboratory settings and community outreach. All scholars will attend group monthly lunch brainstorming sessions at which they will make informal presentations on their research and solicit advice and assistance. Faculty development seminar topics include balancing career and family obligations, preparing for promotion and tenure, interviewing skills, practice or laboratory management, and creating and maintaining a curriculum vitae. Throughout the year, the Office of Research offers workshops on grant writing, conducting animal research, IRB 101, Internet-based data collection, technology transfer, research administration, budgeting, and negotiating contracts with industry. Data to be used in the evaluation process will be supplied through reporting matrices (manuscripts, grants, grades, rotations, presentations as well as qualitative data on program effectiveness and efficiency) by applicants, scholars, mentors, Principal Investigator, program co-directors, and ombudsman. Mentors are evaluated on their abilities to serve as good role models, help scholars manage time for research and training, serve as an advocate, communicate positive and negative feedback, provide career guidance, create networking opportunities, and encourage independent and creative thinking.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-B (50))
Program Officer
Davis Nagel, Joan
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Virginia Commonwealth University
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
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