Health Disparities Fellowship Program. With this aim, the CE Core is taking a more proactive approach to promote the effective conduct of community-based diabetes research in minority communities and develop future research leaders committed to understanding and elimination of health disparities. The aims of the fellowship program are to provide trainees with: 1) training on the tools of disparities clinical, community, and outcomes research, including cultural competency, equity, and disparity assessment, behavioral interventions, and quality-of-care measurement and improvement; and 2) training in bioethics and fundamental issues, principles, attitudes, and practices underlying just and equitable research involving culturally diverse and underserved populations. This outstanding course graduated 14 junior investigators in the current year from all three participating universities.

The year-long program includes:

  • Online video courses in culture competency
  • Bi-weekly video conferences and lectures conducted simultaneously at TU, MSM, and UAB
  • A one-day workshop on bioethics and cross-cultural issues at Tuskegee University to increase understanding of bioethical issues in health disparities, race-targeted biomedical interventions, and CBPR-related ethical issues in research with minority communities
  • A one-week intensive session with grant writing and in-depth critique of research proposals

The CE Core will adapt the course for DRC members and trainees by assuring that diabetes is well represented in the course work and to add track for established investigators in addition to the junior investigator/trainee track. Senior DRC researchers will be given a flexible option to choose those components of the program that are best fit for their research and will further educate them on the special issues of health disparities in diabetes research. For junior investigators and trainees, the CE Core will conduct companion coursework to the Health Disparities Fellowship Program designed to assure emergence of independent investigators in this field. This will involve greater attention to mentoring with a formal mentoring plan, as well as additional coursework. Each trainee will have a mentor committee of the primary mentor and 2 additional faculty members consistent with trainee's research interests to develop a mentoring plan. In addition to frequent informal meetings of the mentors and trainee, a quarterly meeting will address progress and barriers and will solicit feedback from faculty and trainees. A quarterly activities evaluation tool will be developed for both trainees and mentors to use to track and assess progress. Additional coursework will be provided either with its incorporation into the existing UAB MHRC/TU/MSM Health Disparities Fellowship Program or separately to complement that curriculum.