The University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) women's health research career development program (RFA- OD-06-004), Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) is a collaborative effort between the UlC's National Center of Excellence in Women's Health (CoE) and its six health colleges, including the colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Applied Health Sciences, and the School of Public Health. The overall purpose of this BIRCWH program is to institutionalize a generative scholar training program that will optimize the success of junior faculty in developing a substantive and sustained research program in women's health science. The program will contribute substantially to the development of a diverse multidisciplinary basic science, clinical, and community research work force through the interdisciplinary training, mentorship, and career development of junior investigators. These investigators will accelerate the translation of research findings into evidence-based policies and practices that improve the health of women and girls in the U.S. The program utilizes the rich academic, research, and training resources available at UIC and builds on a pilot interdisciplinary career development program. In this pilot program, implemented in January 2006, junior faculty scholars are advised by an interdisciplinary group of senior women's health research faculty, and are paired with two senior faculty mentors. The UIC BIRCWH program trains up to eight BIRCWH junior faculty scholars during the 5 year funding period to become independent women's health investigators. The proposed program consists of a core and tailored curriculum, research training, mentoring (by 2 senior researchers), individualized career planning, and a research project. A diverse group of scholars are selected who focus on research in one of five areas in which UIC has particular strengths: reproductive health, midlife and aging, cancer in women, heart disease in women, and underserved populations. These areas encompass health and illness issues which are unique to women, more prevalent in women, or are different in women than in men. Health disparities are an underlying theme in much of the research on women's health, regardless of level of analysis, reflecting the diverse urban environment in which UIC is situated. UlC's conceptual approach to women's health and to research about women's health is to view women's health in terms of life stages and on a continuum. Work in women's health ranges from the molecular and cellular level to the community level;these levels are inter-related. Therefore, UlC's research programs are translational and incorporate multiple levels of analysis.

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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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-B (50))
Program Officer
Davis Nagel, Joan
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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