The Research Scholars Program (RSP), co-directed by Nancy Schoenberg, PhD and Kevin Pearson, PhD, aims to ensure diversity and inclusion in research by promoting faculty research success. The program is aligned with national priorities for a more diverse and inclusive research workforce, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) program's goal of creating cultures of inclusive excellence at NIH-funded institutions by implementing well-integrated, evidence-based strategies, and evaluating their impact on metrics of institutional culture, inclusive excellence, and diversity.

RSP is one-year, multi-component investment in the research success of junior faculty and their mentors. RSP integrates strategies from national, evidence-based programs with existing campus programs to:

  • Provide professional development curricula to support the cohort’s academic and professional research success.
  • Engage UK’s collaborative scientific community through multilevel mentorship, sponsorship and coaching to embed the cohort in research environments committed to inclusive excellence, collegiality and productivity.
  • Establish a scientific and social networking structure for the cohort to reduce isolation, build community and provide support for faculty to overcome institutional or structural challenges, and facilitate connections within the research community and the overarching institution.

RSP was created by the Office of the Vice President for Research in 2020, with support from the Office for Faculty Advancement, Center for Health Equity Transformation, and Center for Clinical and Translational Science. In 2022, RSP is also being supported by the colleges of Public Health, Medicine, Engineering, and Agriculture, Food and Environment.

You can read more about the program here: