Application Process

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS 

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine recently received renewed funding for our Women's Health faculty training grant, Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Womens' Health (BIRCWH). UK's BIRCWH program has been funded since 2001. The purpose of this competitive training grant is to build the women's health research careers of junior faculty through mentorship and institution support.

Given this renewed funding, we are now seeking applications from outstanding junior faculty committed to expanding their own research in WOMEN'S HEALTH. 

Applications for this call for proposals are accepted through OCTOBER 18, 2017.  

WHAT IS THE BIRCWH?

The BIRCWH is a $2.5 million NIH grant awarded to the College of Medicine to provide career development and mentoring opportunities for junior faculty interested in research related to women's health. 

WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF BIRCWH?

  • Provide state of the art training in research relevant to women's health that will ensure that junior faculty establish independent research careers;
  • Facilitate and encourage ongoing and new collaborations in focused but interactive areas that are essential to improving women's health, and
  • Provide in-depth and broad experiences with a primary mentor and other faculty who will enrich the research experience.


HOW DOES BIRCWH BENEFIT JUNIOR FACULTY AT UK?

  • BIRCWH funding covers 50-75% of the faculty member’s time.
  • With this protected time each selected faculty further develops their scholarly research portfolio including conducting
    • a BIRCWH research project,
    • completing publications, and
    • writing and submitting federal grant proposals.
  • BIRCWH provides individual and group mentorship through twice monthly meetings.
  • BIRCWH members participate in manuscript and grant development workshops designed to increase faculty research productivity and help faculty submit and receive funding for their own research as an independent researcher and tenured and promoted professor.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE BIRCWH PROGRAM

UK BIRCWH supports selected junior faculty in two positions: Scholars and Associates. 

  • Three Scholars are supported by the NIH and are guaranteed that 75 percent of their time will be protected for research based on this federal funding.
  • Three to five Associates participate in the BIRCWH. Associates training in the BIRCWH parallels that of Scholars in that Associates participate in the same training and mentorship. Protected research time is supported by UK.


WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE A BIRCWH SCHOLAR/ASSOCIATE?

  • The BIRCWH grant is designed for junior faculty members who are preparing to develop as an independently funded women’s health researcher.
  • Scholars 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 as dictated by NIH.
  • There are no citizenship requirements for Associates.
  • Preference will be given to candidates in regular title series appointments (i.e. non Research track series).


WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE A BIRCWH SCHOLAR/ASSOCIATE?

  • Scholars/Associates may not have served as the principal investigator or equivalent on an NIH research project (RO1), Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01), Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08) or their equivalent, a subproject of a program project (PO1) or center grant (P50, U54), or equivalent PHS research grant awards.
  • Scholars/Associates may not accept or hold any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of this career award. Preference will be given to candidates in regular title series appointments (i.e. non Research track series).

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


WHO WILL PROVIDE OVERSIGHT FOR THE PROGRAM?

The PI, Thomas Curry, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catherine Martin, MD, Endowed Professor in Psychiatry, and Ann Coker, Ph.D., Professor and Endowed Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will provide general oversight for the Program. Ms. Suann Reese is the program administrator. An Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing the activities of the Scholars and their mentors. Regular interactions with mentors will provide direction and leadership to each participant. Each scholar's progress will also be monitored through meetings with the program PIs.


WHAT IS A BIRCWH SCHOLAR/ASSOCIATE REQUIRED TO DO? 

  • Attend and participate in a variety of learning opportunities including the BIRCWH Seminar Series, journal clubs, Clinical Research Seminar Series, and Reproductive Forum,
  • Interact with other program participants to enhance the quality and interdisciplinary nature of Women's Health research,
  • Complete periodic progress reports to be submitted to the BIRCWH Directors.


HOW TO APPLY TO BE A BIRCWH SCHOLAR/ASSOCIATE?

 Applicants for the BIRCWH program must submit:

  • A letter explaining why the applicant is interested in research in general and in women's health research in particular. This letter (1 page maximum) should include a statement of the applicant's professional goals specifically related to women's health.
  • An indication of interest in a position as a Scholar or Associate.

Note: Applicants may be selected as Associates given the limited number of Scholar (n=3) positions available. Several Associates have moved into Scholar positions as these became available and with clear evidence of research productivity. Associates have been non-US citizens or those unable to commit 75% time to the program.

  • A 2-page Letter of Intent (LOI) letter outlining their women’s health research plans (format below).
  • A recent curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of support from the departmental chair committing to allocate 75% of the applicant’s professional time if selected as a BIRCWH Scholar or 50% for applications for BIRCWH Associates.
  • Three letters of support from people who can attest to the applicant’s interest in and passion for research and specifically in WOMEN’S HEALTH. One of these letters may be from the applicant’s potential mentor, if the mentor has been selected at this early stage.

Please submit the above information to the attention of: Suann Reese at sreese@uky.edu or by calling 323-6166. To be considered for this solicitation, all proposals must be submitted by 4:00 pm, October 18, 2017. All applicants will be considered on an individual basis. Candidates will be interviewed prior to making final decisions. Opportunities to participate in the program are limited.

THE TWO PAGE LOI SHOULD BE ASSEMBLED IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER

  1. PROJECT TITLE (Full Project Title required)
  2. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES, SPECIFIC AIMS

Provide concise, clear statements regarding anticipated outcomes of the proposed research and how it will add to existing knowledge or create value

  1. BRIEF BACKGROUND AND PRELIMINARY DATA (If Available)
  2. A PARAGRAPH DESCRIBING STUDY DESIGN, METHODOLOGY AND OUTCOMES
  3. PROJECT MILESTONE
  4. DESCRIBE HOW THE PILOT GRANT WOULD FACILITATE A FUTURE EXTERNAL GRANT