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GWR 550 x 413 pxBy: Sunasia Mims 

The 2023-2024 Health Equity Research Education Program (HEREP) scholars recently participated in a three-day intensive Grant Writing Retreat at the Westin Hotel in Birmingham. This program, hosted by the UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center (MHERC), provides scholars with a platform to present a grant proposal to senior investigators and experts in the field of health equity research.

This input and feedback can enhance the readiness and fundability of the proposal to external funding agencies. Scholars who fulfill program requirements are eligible to apply for pilot funding to start their projects. HEREP is made possible through grants from partners such as the NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute on Aging (NIA), and NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). 

During the retreat, HEREP scholars received valuable assistance from mentors, leaders, and investigators, who helped sharpen their grant writing abilities through detailed critiques and analysis of each proposal. Scholars dedicated the first day to writing and polishing their grant proposals, which were then sent to their mentors for feedback. The following day, scholars focused on preparing visual presentations and participated in a working session with mentors to revise their proposals. On the final day, all scholar presentations were reviewed and evaluated by the group, with feedback provided by scholars, mentors, leaders, and investigators. Moving forward, scholars will incorporate the feedback received into their grant proposals, submitting refined documents for funding consideration with the hope of securing grant funding.

The Grant Writing Retreat is the highlight of the HEREP program. Ann Smith, MHERC Director of Training says β€œIt is a pivotal moment for scholars, mentors, leaders, and partners as it provides a unique opportunity for collaboration and learning. Our scholars will be well-equipped to address health disparities and health equity because of the guidance and expertise of mentors and leaders. We are excited to see how they will apply the knowledge gained during the retreat to their grant proposals and future projects.”

2023-2024 HEREP Scholars

Standing (left to right): Kristen Allen-Watts, PhD, MPH and Benjamin-Carver FIRST Scientist; Rachel Skains, MD, MSPH; Brittanny Polanka, PhD, MS and Benjamin-Carver FIRST Scientist; Rushil V. Patel, MD; Iman Hassani, PhD; Radhika Gangaraju, MD, MSPH, Abhay Lidbe, PhD, Gregory Sakwa, PhD, MS, Patricia Ajayi-Fox, MD,

Seated (left to right): Joy Doll, OTD; Amirah Burton-Obanla, PhD, MS; Desmin Milner, MD

Not pictured: Korijna Valenti, PhD, IPCC, MS, MPW; Emily Johnston, MD, MS; Taylor Buchanan, PhD and and Benjamin-Carver FIRST Scientist

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