Indigenous populations (IP) of the Americas (i.e., American Indians/Alaska Natives [AIAN]; Indigenous Latin Americans- pueblos Indgenas), the Hawaiian (Native Hawaiian-Kanaka ??iwi) and US Pacific Territories (e.g., tagata S?moa), and Nepal (Adivasi Janajati) share a troubling commonality with respect to persistent and dire health disparities. Despite such glaring disparities, there is a paucity of culturally grounded research addressing their biomedical and socio-behavioral health concerns. A strong network of highly trained Indigenous scholars dedicated to culturally relevant research would contribute to ameliorating health disparities among IP. This new application, in response to RFA-MD-18-007 ?NIMHD Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Training (MHRT) Program (T37),? is designed to develop the Luna Program: International Indigenous Health Research Training Program an international 12-week health research training opportunity in Latin America (Peru & Guatemala), Nepal, and in Hawai?i to 45 qualified doctoral and post-doctoral trainees from IP who have been historically underrepresented in biomedical and sociobehavioral research careers.The Luna program builds on the success of our Mahina Program (T37), originally developed through a tripartite partnership of the UW, University of Auckland, and University of Hawai?I for undergraduate IP. This new application extends our efforts into Latin America (Guatemala and Peru), South Asia (Nepal), and Hawai?i/Oceania with a focused approach to training doctoral and post-doctoral trainees. To achieve the overall objectives of the Luna MHRT, we will select 9 pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students per year over 5 years who will undergo a structured international 12-week mentored summer research training program that includes: (1) a 5-day orientation and research training institute at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington, followed by a 10-week International Summer Research Training (ISRT) program at the host country and associated community-based research sites; (2) supervision and training by an international network of country site Preceptors and mentors with expertise in social, cultural, and historical determinants of Indigenous health and health disparities, CBPR, Indigenous ethics and research protocols, and Indigenous research methodologies; (3) community-based research exposure with Preceptors and on-site mentors who will provide supervised field research experiences and shadowing opportunities; (4) a 4-day grant development and writing workshop to produce a NIH grant proposal and publication based on the foreign country research training experience; (5) administrative, editorial, and technical assistance for developing conference presentations and writing manuscripts for publication; (6) year-round multidisciplinary learning opportunities via seminar series, webinars, and presentations at home institutions; (7) access to a website and listserv to facilitate the sharing of relevant research, information, and opportunities; and, (8) a process evaluation of the program to identify factors key to its success.

Public Health Relevance

Consistent with the main objectives of MHRT T37?s, this Luna MHRT provides a 12-week international health disparities reserach training in Peru, Guatemala and Nepal to pre and postdoctoral Indigenous and UREM scholars to facilitate research careers in global health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Minority International Research Training Grants (FIC) (T37)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
Program Officer
Berzon, Richard
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Washington
Schools of Social Welfare/Work
United States
Zip Code