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In November 2021, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuskegee University received a first of its kind $13.7 million grant to further inclusive excellence in research across both institutions. As part of that effort, the program is now recruiting 12 new early career research faculty members.

The UAB/Tuskegee Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation, or FIRST, Partnership is designed to create systemic and sustainable cultural change at both institutions and foster inclusive excellence in research. 

New early-career faculty will be hired in areas of research strength and opportunity across both institutions, including cancer, obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neuroscience, with an emphasis on health disparities and health equity research.

“This is a transformative program that we expect to produce profound and lasting positive effects at both UAB and Tuskegee,” said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president, dean of the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine and CEO of the UAB Health System, who leads the project. “The Benjamin-Carver Scientists will be at the heart of it.”

FIRST Article Image NamesakeRegina Benjamin, M.D. & George Washington CarverProgram hires will be designated as Benjamin-Carver Scientists in honor of two barrier-breaking investigator leaders — 18th U.S. Surgeon General and Heersink School of Medicine alumna Regina Benjamin, M.D., (left) and research scientist, Tuskegee faculty member and humanitarian George Washington Carver (right).

“We want these new hires to be able to conduct impactful research and establish themselves as independent scientists,” said Clayton Yates, Ph.D., site leader for Tuskegee. “This innovative infrastructure helps ensure they can focus on that.”

Scientists will be surrounded by a comprehensive support infrastructure, including a mentoring team, institutional research navigators and professional development opportunities, to help mitigate the difficulties experienced by new hires and accelerate the development of collaborative networks and peer support.

The program is funded through a grant from the NIH Common Fund.

To learn more or to apply, visit sites.uab.edu/benjamincarverfirst

About UAB
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a part of the University of Alabama System, is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center with over $600 million in research awards annually, as well as Alabama’s largest single employer, with some 23,000 employees, and has an annual economic impact exceeding $7 billion on the state. The pillars of UAB’s mission include education, research, innovation and economic development, community engagement, and patient care. Learn more at www.uab.edu.