New publication from UU-HEALTH, and grant funding announcements


From the National Program Office

Urban Universities for HEALTH recently released a report finding that faculty “cluster” hiring, an emerging practice designed to expand interdisciplinary research, can also be used to increase faculty diversity and cultivate a more inclusive campus climate. The report was officially released by a panel of thought leaders via a live webcast event, which was recorded and can be viewed on the Urban Universities for HEALTH website. President Michael Drake, Ohio State University; Chancellor Randy Woodson, North Carolina State University; Susan Phillips, SUNY Downstate/University at Albany, SUNY; and Marc Nivet, AAMC, spoke at the online event. If you only have a few minutes, check out the highlights reel (3.5 min). The report was also covered by several major higher education news outlets, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Education Dive.

The Learning Collaborative was also mentioned in the April/May issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for last year’s study on holistic admissions in the health professions (see p. 59).

Funding Opportunities

SAMHSA has announced a grant for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to partner with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to prevent and reduce substance abuse and transmission of HIV/AIDS among at-risk populations.  Up to $300,000 per institution will be awarded. Applications are due on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

The NIMHD Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) is designed to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers who are conducting minority health and health disparities research transition to an independent, tenure-track faculty position or equivalent. Applications are due June 23, 2015.

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a $60 million competition entitled “First in the World,” which will provide grants to higher education institutions to develop innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. The application deadline is June 30, 2015.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has announced a $60 million science education initiative that will fund more than 1,500 U.S. institutions that offer degrees in the biomedical sciences. The initiative challenges colleges and universities to “increase their capacity to engage all students in science.” HHMI plans to award 60 grants in two open competitions. All awards will be for five years and total $1 million. The intent to apply deadline is July 14, 2015.         

NIMHD will soon publish a funding announcement for transdisciplinary collaborative centers for health disparities research focused on precision medicine. The announcement will be made sometime in May – please stay tuned. NIMHD has also issued a request for information, soliciting input into the scientific planning process to define a vision that will guide the development of the science of health disparities research over the next decade. Responses will be accepted through July 31, 2015.

Other Opportunities

The NIMHD Translational Health Disparities Course is a two-week intensive course held August 3-14, 2015, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The course provides an introduction to the principles and practice of health disparities research. Applications are due by midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.


Bi-partisan legislation was recently introduced in Congress to increase the number of graduate medical education (GME) slots over the next five years at teaching hospitals and academic medical centers.  Half of the 3,000 slots that would be created each year must be used for a “shortage specialty residency program,” as defined by HRSA. 

Ana Mari Cauce, the interim president of the University of Washington, is launching a new race and equity initiative on her campus. The purpose of the effort is to get students to recognize and celebrate their differences rather than ignoring them. Cauce says that acknowledging diversity and fully embracing it can lead to new ideas, innovation and, ultimately, success.

Two articles published this month discussed disruption in medical education. In the Pacific Standard, Leslie Fall writes about MedU, a provider of online clinical learning. She argues that by delivering some components of the medical school curriculum online, schools can both lower costs and increase the number of clinical placements in community-based, rural, or underserved areas. However, in MedPage Today, Robert Frazier – a graduate of a 3-year medical program that operated in the 1940s – pushes back against “academic compression,” arguing that “stuffing too much education in too fast diminishes your capacity to enjoy as many aspects of your own self and interests as you can.”

Upcoming Events

The Synthesis Engagement and Elevation to Eliminate Disparities (SEED) Symposium is a national conference that will use cutting-edge approaches to generate new findings and resources to eliminate health disparities.  The themes for the symposium are: multidisciplinary focus, multiple levels of intervention, culturally-responsive practices, and the use of storytelling as a research tool. The conference will take place June 11-12, 2015 in Worcester, MA.

The 10th Annual USU Summer Meeting will be held from June 15-16, 2015 at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH.  The theme is “Deep Collaboration: Urban Universities Shaping the Future of the City.” Register today to guarantee your spot.

The Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) is offering a professional development workshop, Catapult Your Research Career Using Public Data Sets. This OMH/NIH-funded workshop aims to prepare scholars interested in Hispanic health research strengthen their skills and  knowledge to perform analytical studies of public health datasets to better contribute to Hispanic and other underserved populations. The workshop will take place from June 28-30, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

The National College Access Network (NCAN) will hold its 20th anniversary national conference in Orlando, Florida from September 28-30. The conference theme is Leading the Way in College Access and Attainment, and attendees will be able to learn and share strategies for helping more students succeed in postsecondary education.

Publications and Resources

Excelencia in Education has released Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in Health, which identifies the top institutions graduating Latinos in healthcare fields for 2012-13, and spotlights replicable practices and efforts at select colleges and universities. It also offers opportunities for action to improve Latinos’ retention and degree completion and increase their representation in the healthcare workforce.

The latest AAMC Health Equity Research Snapshot focuses on mental health, with videos from seven new federally-funded research projects underway at AAMC-member institutions. Topics range from PTSD in women veterans (neuropsychiatry research) to the effects of state and federal policies on autism care (health policy research). Also from AAMC: the May 2015 diversity research and data snapshot, which focuses on racial and ethnic diversity in the physician-scientist workforce.

The National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities has developed a compendium of publicly-available federal datasets pertinent to research and programs aiming to end health disparities.

Last month, AHRQ released its 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, and HRSA released its U.S. health workforce projections. SAMHSA has also published a new report on racial/ethnic differences in mental health service use.

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