UAB receives funding to support early-career investigators impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

COERE awarded $500,000 to provide funds for research supplements to early-career physician-scientists whose research has been impacted by COVID-19.

Written by: Alia Tunagur
Media contact: Adam Pope

Night shot of UAB hospital COERE awarded $500,000 to provide funds for research supplements to early-career physician-scientists whose research has been impacted by COVID-19.
(Photography: Steve Wood)
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists and its funding partners — the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome FundJohn Templeton FoundationRita Allen Foundation and the Walden Foundation — have awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education, or COERE, more than $500,000 to support early-career investigators whose research funding was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with “extra hands” grants to augment their academic scholarship. 

With matching funds from the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, up to 20 awards will be made during the two-year program to support the research productivity and retention of early-career faculty. This “extra hands” award provides funds for research supplements of up to $50,000 to early-career physician-scientists who have encountered significant challenges to research progress due to caregiving responsibilities caused by the pandemic. In the first round of funding, up to 10 awards will be made to funded researchers, supporting their efforts for up to one year.

Michael J. Mugavero, M.D., COERE director and co-director for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, along with Mona Fouad, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, will lead program administration, oversee the budget and resource management, and guide the program implementation and evaluation units. Alia Tunagur, COERE program manager, will serve as program administrator.  

“Prior to COVID-19, efforts were afoot at UAB to address the impacts of caregiving responsibilities on the productivity and well-being of faculty, staff and students, with increased caregiving resources made available during the pandemic,” Mugavero said. “With support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the CARES at UAB Retention Program builds on these efforts and will serve as a transformational catalyst.”  

He added that the “extra hands” grants supported by this program will directly address early-career investigators’ unmet personnel needs to augment their research productivity, addressing a major source of distress exacerbated by COVID-19. 

“The commitment of matching funds from the UAB Heersink School of Medicine will not only increase the reach and impact of this grant award but serves as a harbinger of future policies and programs, informed by our program evaluation, to support the productivity and well-being of physician-scientists with caregiving responsibilities beyond the life of this grant,” Mugavero said. 

Driving Research: an Interdisciplinary, Vibrant, Engaged Network (DRIVEN) co-directors Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and Gregory Payne, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease, will co-lead program implementation of CARES at UAB. Katherine Meese, Ph.D., assistant professor in UAB’s Department of Health Services Administration, will lead program evaluation.

The initial application cycle opened Nov. 1, 2021, and will close Dec. 10, 2021. Applicants will receive a decision by Dec. 20, 2021, and awards will begin Jan. 1, 2022.

Click here for more information or to apply.