BIRCWH Scholars are expected to commit up to 75 percent of their time to research on a project related to women's health that they have designed and proposed. Scholars should meet with their department chairs prior to applying for the BIRCWH program to ensure this time commitment is guaranteed. Chairs and directors must be aware that BIRCWH provides partial support of faculty salaries. Scholars may be required to take core curriculum courses or substitute formal training as approved by the BIRCWH directors. Additional didactic courses may be required for individuals who may not have sufficient experience in research methods or the latest information on important issues in women's health.

UK students sitting on a row of bleachers


The curriculum can be tailored to meet the scholars' experiences and academic background. The curriculum will include:

  • didactic course work;

  • attendance at selected clinical research seminars;

  • attendance at the BIRCWH seminar series;

  • attendance at selected journal clubs, seminars and training programs;

  • participation in experiential initiatives related to compliance and regulatory agencies;

  • completion of a protege/mentor training program;

  • attendance at a one-day, off-campus retreat twice a year; and

  • completion of a mentored research project culminating in the submission of a proposal to a nationally recognized funding agency.

Diverse Disciplines and Research Experiences

Scholars who participate in the BIRCWH program come from diverse disciplines and research experiences. Mentors and faculty work with scholars to design research programs that meets their individual needs. Curricular requirements also are reviewed and tailored to enhance each scholar's development. Scholars may submit an individually designed curriculum for approval by the program directors. This commitment to meeting individual needs is strengthened through the establishment of supportive research teams and coaches.


All Scholars are required to attend selected clinical research and BIRCWH seminars. These 90-minute seminars address topics important to the professional and career development of scholars, mentors and coaches. Seminar topics range from general research skills to specific issues in women's health.


The BIRCWH program is designed for junior faculty who have the potential to establish their own funded research programs. Applicants must have faculty appointments or qualify for joint appointment in the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health Sciences, Education, Arts & Sciences, or Dentistry.

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-55) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.

At the time support begins, scholars may not have served as the principal investigator or equivalent on an NIH research project (R01) or Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K08) or their equivalent, a subproject of a program project (P01) or center grant (P50, U54), or equivalent PHS research grant awards. Scholars may not accept or hold any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of this career award. Preference will be given to candidates in tenure-track appointments.

During their tenure as BIRCWH Scholars, participants are required to apply for independent research grant support. When a BIRCWH Scholar obtains a federally funded extramural award, they will be considered to have successfully completed the BIRCWH training. Although NIH requires that BIRCWH salary support be terminated when a scholar receives extramural funding, scholars may still participate in the training and mentoring aspects of the BIRCWH program, if they so desire.

Faculty members located off campus are eligible to participate in the program but will need to demonstrate an ability to participate in all required activities and to contribute to the development of a cohesive infrastructure in women's health research.