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BIRCWH K12 Scholar

The Powell Center for Women's Health is looking to appoint up to two University of Minnesota junior faculty as NIH Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 scholars and one University of Minnesota junior faculty as a Masonic Cancer Center Women's Health Scholar.

The Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar is funded through the UMN Masonic Cancer Center to support one researcher whose work focuses on the cancers that occur mainly in women including important gender differences in cancer incidence, presentation, survivorship, treatment, pain, and pathology.

The aim of this training program is to place junior investigators on the path to be competitive for NIH independent K- or R- awards. Support for up to two BIRCWH and one Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholars will be available during this cycle. Success of the program is judged by the number of trainees who go on to secure independent NIH K-awards and NIH R21 grants in the short term, and NIH R01, and R01 equivalent funding in the long term, for women’s health or sex differences research.

All scholars will partake in the BIRCWH Program requirements with the exception of the annual BIRCWH meeting. The Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar is not eligible to attend this annual meeting.

  • 75% salary support (up to $100,000 inclusive of fringe), $25,000 in research
  • Up to three proposals will be awarded on this RFA, two BIRCWH and one Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar
  • Assistant Professor (in rank ≤ 6 years; Have no more than six years of research or research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree)
  • Weekly K Scholar Multidisciplinary Seminar Series with BIRCWH (Women’s Health K12), CHRCDA (Child Health K12) programs, CTSI Pre-K Scholars, and Individual K awardees

We are not accepting applications at this time.

Application

Application form

Application form

We are not accepting new applications.

Eligibility

Eligibility

Criteria For Funding

The Scholar position is a junior faculty appointment, not a fellowship. At the time of the appointment, candidates for support as BIRCWH Scholars must:

  1. Have a clinical doctorate or Ph.D. degree or its equivalent (e.g., MD, DO, DDS, DVM, OD, DC, PharmD);
  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);
  3. Assistant Professor in rank ≤ 6 years; Have no more than six years of research or research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree;
  4. Identify at least 3 mentors from different interprofessional disciplines with evidence of extensive research experience and track record of trainees at the rank of Associate Professor or higher; primary mentor must be a full professor; at least one mentor must have statistical and methodological expertise. Other mentors can be proposed but must be approved by BIRCWH Program Directors and NIH. View NIH-approved Mentors. Please contact Mikow Hang at hangx012@umn.edu or 612-626-4861 if you have any questions regarding your mentoring team;
  5. Be able to spend 75% of full-time professional effort conducting research and research career development activities as a BIRCWH K12 or Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health scholar. Department or school must provide evidence that the scholar will be given adequate research space and all appropriate infrastructure support to complete research projects successfully.
  6. Be able to spend at least 9 person months (or at least 6 person months for surgical-specialties) of full-time professional effort conducting research and research career development activities;
  7. Not be or have been a PD/PI on an R01, R29 or subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, U54) grant, independent mentored career development (K-series) grants, or other equivalent research grant awards; except for R03, R21 or R34;
  8. Be a U.S. citizen or noncitizen national, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-155) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent citizen. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible;
  9. Research areas of interest can be basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological, or health services research that relate to women’s health and/or sex differences;
  10. Has the potential to establish their own funded research programs in women’s health and/or sex differences. Applicants must have faculty appointments (rank of Assistant Professor) at the University of Minnesota or a signed offer letter indicating their appointment at the time of application.
  11. Departmental commitment to two years of protected research time with an optional third year based on need and performance.
  12. Participants are required to apply for independent research grant support by the end of the second year (NIH K or R series award; or foundational research funding from the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, or equivalent). NIH requires that BIRCWH salary support be reduced by that amount when a scholar receives extramural funding but scholars may still participate in the training and mentoring aspects of the BIRCWH program, if they so desire.

NIH requirements can be found in Section III. Eligibility Information Section 3.

Requirements

  1. Have at least 75% protected time for up to three years of the award to conduct the proposed research.
  2. Interprofessional mentoring team of at least 3 including:
    - Primary mentor (must be at the University of Minnesota)
    - Secondary mentors, at least two
    - At least one mentor must have statistical and methodological expertise.
  3. Submit six-month reports and annual progress report at year one, year two, and a final progress report upon completion of the program. Participate in annual review with mentors and BIRCWH leadership team. Continued availability of awarded funds will be contingent on the annual progress report and review.
  4. Participate in all required BIRCWH program activities including, but not limited to, annual BIRCWH meeting, required weekly seminars, mentoring workshop, grant writing program offered by Drs. Richard King and Anne Marie Weber-Main, BIRCWH journal club, UMN/Mayo Clinic BIRCWH Leadership workshops, the Powell Center Annual Women’s Health Research Conference, courses, seminars, annual reports, etc.
  5. BIRCWH alumni are expected to provide annual updates of submitted and funded grants and publications and participate in mentoring current BIRCWH scholars.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

Scholars:

  • Demonstrate commitment to interdisciplinary women’s health/gender-specific research
  • Previous research and academic experience
  • Long-term career plan with milestones for later evaluation by advisory committee
  • A 3-year career development and training plan with support of a primary mentor, and mentoring team
  • Proposed research theme within a specific content area including significance and innovation of proposed project and its potential for future funding
  • Plans for interacting with mentors
  • Background and potential for a successful academic research career in women’s health research and/or sex differences.

Department:

  • Commitment of 75% protected time for the scholar
  • Plan for integration of the scholar into the unit’s activities

Mentoring Team:

  • Three-year time line with mileposts for career development of the scholar
  • Interprofessional nature of team
  • Team’s plans for interaction with scholar
  • Integration with the mentoring team’s activities
  • Adequacy of content, methodology, and statistical expertise and each team member’s involvement in the proposal

Primary Mentor:

  • Plan for a long-term career path for the candidate
  • Experience with research theme proposed by the candidate
  • Plans for interaction with scholar and integration with mentoring team
  • Strong NIH funding record (current and past)
  • Strong research publication record
  • Previous and current mentoring experience and success

Supporting mentors:

  • Experience with research theme
  • Plans for interaction and career development of scholars
  • Previous and current mentoring experience and success
  • Listing of NIH funding record (current and past) and publication record

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How strict is the 6 years post graduate training eligibility requirement?

At the time of their application, scholars cannot have more than six years of research experience beyond their terminal doctoral degree. However, 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 absolute limit on time elapsed since completion of training. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION REGARDING WHETHER YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A POSTION ON THE BIRCWH please contact Mikow Hang at 612-626-1125 or at wmhealth@umn.edu to clarify this BEFORE YOU APPLY!

2. How important is it to choose a mentor from the mentor’s list provided on the website?

The mentor’s list provided is not all-inclusive. However, each mentor we have identified is a senior faculty member and has an established record of obtaining NIH funds for research and training junior colleagues who also became successful in obtaining faculty positions and grant funding. You may choose a mentor not identified on the list but your mentor must meet the criteria listed in the Request for Applications. An important aspect is that he/she has stature and knowledge in research to provide a quality mentoring experience for the scholar. Mentors who are not on the list of NIH-approved mentors can be proposed must be approved by the BIRCWH Program Directors and NIH.

3. How important is it to choose mentors from different disciplines?

The BIRCWH Program is designed to develop independent scientists who can conduct interdisciplinary women’s health research. Thus, we are requiring that you have at least three mentors from different professions who can assist you in providing unique perspectives relevant to your research topic. One of the mentors needs to have statistical and methodological expertise. Applications will be rated on the interprofessional nature of the mentoring team. If you have questions about selection of an interprofessional mentoring team, please contact Mikow Hang at 612-625-1125 or wmhealth@umn.edu to get your questions clarified BEFORE YOU APPLY!

4. Must a mentor be located at the University of Minnesota?

The primary mentor must be at the University of Minnesota and a full professor. Implicit in the mentoring relationship is frequent contact between mentor and mentee. This is less likely to occur if mentor and mentee are separated by distance, so the case must be made that there will be regular and frequent contact and that the relationship meets the definition of a good mentoring relationship. Mentors are also expected to attend the mentoring workshop offered as part of the BIRCWH and to attend the Multidisciplinary Research or BIRCWH seminars when their scholar is presenting data.

5. Should I be selected as a scholar, what can I plan on as the start date for the BIRCWH Program or the Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar Program?

The BIRCWH Scholar may start immediately after being awarded, but must start no later than January 22, 2013. The date can be negotiated based on teaching and clinical responsibilities and how quickly these responsibilities can be reduced. This is similar for the Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar Program.

6. If I am a post-doctoral fellow, rather than junior faculty, am I automatically disqualified as eligible?

The Scholar position is a full-time faculty position, e.g., tenure or clinical track. We are not accepting applications from post doctoral fellows. At the time of the award, candidates must have a clinical doctorate or Ph.D. degree or its equivalent, 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), and be junior faculty who have the potential to establish their own funded research programs.

7. Can I submit a training plan that lasts for more than 3 years?

You are required to submit a 3-year plan. We expect all scholars to have independent funding in two years. A third year may be awarded based on need and performance.

8. Do I need to identify a statistician or can a mentor chosen also play the role of a statistician?

It is required that one of your mentors must have statistician and methodologist expertise. You may also use your research stipend funds to pay for statistical support.

9. How many scholars will be selected this year? What about next year?

This year at least two scholars (one BIRCWH, one Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar) will be selected for a two year period and additional third year will be awarded based on need and performance. 

10. Will there be funds available to conduct research?

The BIRCWH scholars who have been on the BIRCWH for the last three years received a research stipend supplied by their respective Deans. Due to the recent budget constraints we are not certain that these stipends will be available. We are currently contacting the Deans to see if these stipends will be available and will post the information as soon as we know. 

11. Does my proposal need to include attaining a degree?

No, you do not have to obtain a degree. The decision to attain a degree as part of your program or to take specific courses as a non-degree student should be based on the amount of research training you have had in the past. If you have not had research training, we highly encourage completion of a MS in Clinical Research, MPH, or equivalent degree as relevant to your field of research.

12. Is there any training on mentoring available to mentors through this program?

The mentoring team will be required to attend a mentoring workshop. 

13. Does my application have to go through Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA)?

You do not have to submit a budget and your application does not need to go through SPA. If you are accepted as a BIRCWH Scholar or a Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar, you will then be asked to submit a budget for approval by the BIRCWH Program Directors.

14. Do I need to apply for other grants while I am on the BIRCWH grant?

Yes, you are expected to apply for seed grants from internal and external sources to help support collection of preliminary data for a Federal grant. In the first year, you will be expected to submit for intramural grant funding. In the second year, you will be expected to submit for small extramural grants to support your pilot work. Twelve to eighteen months into your training program you will be expected to work on a larger Federal grant, and submit this grant in your third year of funding.

15. How should I include references in my proposal?

References should be included at the end of the narrative. Any reference format can be used and the references are not included in the page limit.

16. How much detail do I need to include about my research project?


The research proposal guidelines provides recommendations for how many pages should be allotted to describing the aims, significance, innovation, approach, analysis plan, and power estimate (if applicable). This should serve as a guide to you in identifying how much detail to include in each of these sections. Be sure to discuss the potential for future funding of your project as well.