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The Science of Health Disparities

The MHERC generates new knowledge on the social, behavioral, and biological mechanisms of health disparities, with an emphasis on developing and testing interventions to reduce these disparities. The Research Program links investigators of various disciplines and scientific backgrounds to conduct multidisciplinary health disparities research. It identifies research priorities and funding opportunities, provides investigators with scientific expertise during the research process, and funds pilot research projects.

What We Do for Our Researchers 

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  • Funding Opportunities
    • Identify opportunities in minority health and health disparities research
    • Link researchers with other investigators as research partners
    • Assist in development of grant proposals
    • Provide peer-review services for research proposals and scientific publications.
    • Provide quarterly seminars on the science of health disparities
    • Promote the work of investigators in health disparities research through symposia and other scientific events
    • Fund pilot projects in minority health and health disparities
  • Training and Career Development
    • Provide training in health disparities research—online courses in epidemiology and biostatistics, bioethics workshop, video conference series, and grant-and manuscript-writing retreats to post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty accepted into the Health Disparities Research Education Program
    • Link faculty with opportunities to develop their careers in health disparities research
    • Provide mentoring for junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students interested in health disparities research, as well as undergraduate minority students
    • Offer summer research opportunities to graduate students and enrichments opportunities to minority undergraduate students
    • Offer an alumni program for trainees and scholars
  • Community Engagement
    Trust, mutual respect, and a strong sense of partnership between researchers and the communities we serve are vital components of an effective health disparities research program. With a strong and continuous community engagement program, the MHRC, is actively involved in underserved and vulnerable communities, maintaining the links and partnerships that support our research.

    • Link researchers with community organizations, state agencies, and minority-serving institutions
    • Assist with recruitment and retention of minority participants in research studies
    • Provide patient navigation services, train volunteer as lay patient navigators and community health leaders
    • Develop culturally appropriate health communication and health promotion campaigns
    • Provide service learning opportunities to UAB students

Recruitment and Retention for Research Studies

A precisely selected and representative research population is as crucial a resource as any high-tech research equipment. Leveraging our continuous community engagement efforts, the MHERC Recruitment and Retention Shared Facility (RRSF) helps researchers to identify and recruit participants for their studies. Trained RRSF staff can help overcome barriers to participation of underrepresented populations in research. Contact the Recruitment and Retention Shared Facility if you would like more information on UAB research trials.

A Leader in Health Disparities Research

The MHERC has been home to three large-scale, NIH-funded center grants —the MHDRC (NIMHD P60), Mid-South TCC (NIMHD U54), and the OHDRC (NIMHD U54)—and has been instrumental in the development of two others, including the active Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (NIMHD U54), one of only seven to be funded throughout the country. These Centers underscore MHRC’s critical role as a national leader in the study of health disparities. They also extend MHRC’s reach and influence throughout the South and the nation. By fostering interdisciplinary research collaborations and facilitating P-,U-,R-series grands, the MHRC continues to serve as UAB’s leading resource for the development of successful health disparities-related funding proposals.

Advancing the Knowledge

UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center is committed to advancing the knowledge of health disparities—for Birmingham, Alabama, the South, the nation, and the world. Through research, our teams develop strategies for outreach that impact entire communities. 

Learn more about our current research, pilot projects, or see what community outreach programs we are working on.