The University of Wisconsin-Madison BIRCWH program fosters mentored research career development of early career faculty (scholars) who wish to develop independent careers focused on women’s health or sex differences research.
Consistently a high priority, interdisciplinary women’s health research thrives at the institution because of the overall climate of excellence, stellar research career development programs, and dedication to collaboration between diverse disciplines. This exceptional tradition provides an outstanding environment to foster the next generation of leaders in women’s health research.
The vision of the UW BIRCWH program is to improve women’s health by developing a scientific workforce capable of leading independently-funded biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research. The program leverages a highly interdisciplinary environment, committed leadership, experienced mentors and ambitious early career faculty to fuel discoveries and translational activities that will drive the future of women’s health and sex/gender differences research.
The UW BIRCWH program aims to identify/prepare committed and capable scholars; expand scholar knowledge of women’s health and sex/gender research; enhance fundamental research skills; and foster independent research careers. The program accomplishes these goals within an overarching career development framework designed to enhance motivation for research careers in women’s health and scientific and leadership self-efficacy that include the following components:
- Strengthening the faculty mentoring network to enhance opportunities for early career faculty to develop innovative interdisciplinary women’s health research collaborations and cross-disciplinary networks.
- Providing competency-based career development in the design, conduct, and dissemination of high-quality women’s health and sex/gender differences research, including curricular innovations in team science.
- Fostering team mentoring and developing novel mentee/mentor training to support all aspects of scholar career development by building on established institutional expertise in mentoring programs.
- Establishing rigorous program oversight and evaluation tailored to competencies and milestones aligned with program expectations for scholars.
The UW BIRCWH program provides competency-based curricular activities, individualized career development opportunities, innovative career coaching and novel team science training, ensuring scholars master the concepts that underpin women’s health research, sex/gender differences research, and the intersection of women leaders and the advancement of women’s health.
The program supports three scholars at any given time throughout the award duration. Availability of positions is dependent upon the number of scholars currently appointed. UW BIRCWH scholars are supported for two years; additional time in the program is possible depending on review and confirmation of the scholar’s progress towards program milestones, external project funding, and scientific independence. In addition to career development opportunities, scholar support includes:
- 75% salary support (50% for surgical specialties) up to $100,000 per year (plus fringe). Departments/Divisions must commit to providing salary (non-federal funds) above the $100,000 limit if there is a salary gap.
- $25,000 research budget to support research and career development, which may include the following: research expenses; tuition and fees related to career development; travel to scientific meetings. Additional funds are provided for scholars to attend the requisite annual NIH BIRCWH Meeting.
The UW BIRCWH program is based on core competencies of which mastery is instrumental for success in an academic career in biomedical and/or behavioral women’s health or sex/gender differences research. Mastery of the core competencies is achieved through required and optional career development and curricular components. The expansive professional development environment at UW enables BIRCWH scholars to develop an individual career development plan that may be uniquely tailored to their research area and level of expertise. Below are specific UW BIRCWH program requisites.
- Develop an independent research project in a substantive area of women’s health or sex/gender differences
- Prepare and submit high quality abstracts and manuscripts
- Submit competitive internal and external grant applications
- Identify 3 interdisciplinary faculty mentors
- Meet regularly with mentoring team to discuss research progress and career development opportunities
- Attend monthly ICTR K scholar sessions to increase mastery of basic research competencies
- Attend monthly UW BIRCWH scholar meetings to advance women’s health research core competencies
- Present research progress at semi-annual UW BIRCWH Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee meetings
- Attend/present at national scientific meetings in scholar area of research
- Attend/present at annual NIH BIRCWH Meeting
- Adhere to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) plan
For additional information on the UW BIRCWH program, please contact Terry Little at firstname.lastname@example.org.