Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health

The BIRCWH supports research career development of junior faculty members who have recently completed clinical training, additional research training, or postdoctoral fellowships and who are commencing: 1) Basic research; 2) Translational research; 3) Clinical research; or 4) Population-based or health services research relevant to women’s health and/or gender biology [1]. 

Who is eligible? The Scholar position is a junior faculty appointment, not a fellowship. At the time of the award, candidates must; (1) have a Ph.D. degree or clinical doctorate or its equivalent; (2) have completed any postgraduate training normally expected for a faculty appointment in their field (including clinical or postdoctoral fellowship training or residency if they have chosen not to subspecialize). Doctoral degrees include but are not limited to, the Ph.D., Sc.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., D.M.D., O.D., D.C., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), and the clinical Ph.D. (e.g. psychologist) as well as nurses with doctoral degrees. In addition, other clinicians holding doctoral degrees may be eligible. Completion of clinical subspecialty training is not required of candidates in general practice in their specialty; however, those who choose to subspecialize must have completed their fellowships. In order to accommodate the needs of those interested in participating in this program who may have had a career hiatus because of family responsibilities, uniformed service, etc., there is no limit on time elapsed since completion of training. At the time of their application, scholars cannot have more than six years of research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree. The candidate must also be able to (3) identify a mentor with extensive research experience and; (4) be able to spend at least 75 percent of full-time professional effort conducting research and research career development.

Citizenship: Candidates must be US citizens, non-citizen nationals, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (1-151 or 1-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.

Prior research experience: Candidates who were former Principal Investigators on NIH Small Grants (i.e., RO3s) or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (i.e., R21s) are eligible. However, Principal Investigators who have current or prior support on NIH research project grants (RO1), FIRST Awards (R29), sub-projects of program project (PO1) or center grants (P50) or the equivalent, are not eligible for appointment under this program. Candidates who have been previously supported on NIH or non-NIH career development awards dedicated to training patient-oriented researchers are not eligible. However, candidates whose prior training did not focus on patient-oriented research but wish to shift focus to this area are eligible. Candidates may not concurrently hold any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of this award. Scholars on this award are encouraged to apply for independent research grant support during the period of support under this award.

What is provided? Faculty Scholars become members of The Elliot Newman Society and participate in career development activities coordinated for all K12 supported faculty at Vanderbilt as well as seminars, work-in-progress sessions, and writing workshops provided specifically for BIRCWH Scholars. These activities are designed to expand the collegial community of new investigators and to provide tailored resources to assist them in the transition to becoming successful independent investigators. 1. Salary and fringe benefits to secure 75% protected time are provided at a capped level that varies based on current institutional-based salaries. 2. Up to $25,000 per year research and development budget.

How to apply? With the provisional approval of his or her departmental or divisional leadership, a potential applicant should schedule an informational interview with Dr. Amy Major (Co-PI) or Dr. Digna Velez Edwards (Co-PI). Also, feel free to contact Adrienne Babcock at with preliminary questions or concerns in considering the eligibility of a potential applicant or for more details.

Funding Source: NIH/NICHD

PIs: Dr. Amy Major, PhD, Dignal Velez Ewards, PhD, MS



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