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Scholar Application Process

Competition Currently Closed

2015 Scholar award available: NIH K-12 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) at UC Denver.


I. General Information


o MD or PhD Scholars will be considered who are pursuing a research career in one of these areas of women’s health


o Pregnancy: placentation, lactation, fetal and neonatal programming

o Immunology/Rheumatology/Inflammation

o Adult Health: obesity, menopause, aging, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD):


o Clinical Scholars must hold the MD or DO, have completed their clinical training, and demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a successful career involving research in women’s health/sex differences.

o Candidates must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent resident aliens.

o Applicants who are eligible to become faculty and junior faculty who have just initiated an academic career are eligible to apply. All applicants must be tenure eligible.

A two-year award designed to support junior faculty who are interested in a career in women's health research will be available, July 1, 2015. Salary and some program support will be provided to the successful applicant for two years with the possibility of renewal for a 3rd year. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply following the attached instructions. The application is due at 5:00 PM on June 8, 2015.



II. Underrepresented Minorities


Underrepresented minorities who meet the program requirements are particularly urged to apply.


III Application Requirements


Application requirements include significant research experience for all applicants, completion of a clinical fellowship for an MD or DO


The application must include:

(1)Curriculum vitae including training history, awards, bibliography, presentations.

(2)A detailed personal statement (maximum 2 pages) demonstrating a commitment to a career in women’s health/sex difference research, outlining personal strengths that will insure success in this endeavor, and stating why the individual should be chosen for the program. Applicants are urged to choose an approved BIRCWH mentor (see Appendix 1 below for list) and explain why they have chosen the mentor and how they will work together. If an applicant wishes to work with a primary mentor who is not on the list, that individual must work in one of the areas outlined above. The Program Director will assist in obtaining NIH approval for an appropriate mentor not already on the list below.

(3)A description of the applicant’s research experience (maximum 3 pages). The section should describe prior projects/experience that demonstrate the applicant’s ability to perform clinical, translational, epidemiological or basic research.

(4)A description of the steps the applicant expects to take to become an independent investigator in the area of women’s health research (maximum 3 pages). Potential research projects should be described as well as any necessary course work.

(5)A letter from the applicant’s department chair or division chief confirming that the applicant will have at least 75% time for pursuit of his/her research program. In addition, this letter should provide assurance that the applicant is entering into a tenure eligible position (preferably Assistant Professor) and set forth the other means by which the department/division will support the applicant’s proposed research program. This must include an agreement to support the rest of the Scholar’s salary if not fully covered by the BIRCWH as well as an annual commitment of $10,000 towards project support for the Scholar.

(6)A minimum of three (but not more than five) letters of reference sent directly to the BIRCWH program office (address below) demonstrating evidence of the applicant’s strength in or support for the proposed areas of research. One of these letters should come from the applicant’s proposed mentor.

 All application materials except letters of reference should be submitted together by email to Rachel Aerne whose email address is


Letters of reference should clearly state the name of the applicant and be submitted directly to the above address.


IV Review Criteria


Criteria to be used for selection of scholars include:

1) Excellence of training and, for clinician-scientists, board eligibility or completion;

2) Evidence of a high level of scholarship;

4) Clarity of the statement of career direction and goals;

5. Excellence of the scientific proposals submitted

5) Letters of recommendation

6) Clarity of the vision of both applicant and mentor as to career goals and commitment to research in women’s health

7) Clear evidence of career support from the Department Chair.


Each application will be pre-reviewed by the Program Directors for compliance with application rules. Copies of all accepted applications will be available to all members of the Selection Committee, and each candidate will be evaluated in detail by at least two members, with written reviews being provided. Review assignments will be made by the Program Directors. After full Selection Committee discussion, NIH-style priority scores will be assigned by secret ballot, and the scores averaged and ranked. Any Selection Committee member with a conflict of interest will leave the room during the entire review and discussion of the applicant. Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of the review and sent edited written reviews as soon as feasible. Candidates who are not selected as BIRCWH Scholars are encouraged to meet with the Program Directors to review their application to determine whether and how it may be strengthened for re-application or application for other K awards.


Appendix 1: BIRCWH Mentors:

Focus Areas

Faculty Mentors

Pregnancy: placentation, lactation, fetal and neonatal programming


Steve Abman, MD

Linda Barbour, MD

Jacob Friedman, PhD

William Hay Jr, MD

Nancy Krebs, MD

Anne Lynch, MD

Marilyn Manco-Johnson, MD

James McManaman, PhD

Randall Ross, MD



Susan Boackle, MD

Tasha Fingerlin, PhD

Michael Holers, MD

Philippa Marrack, PhD

Jill Norris, PhD, Preventive Medicine;

David Schwartz, MD

Adult Health: obesity, menopause, aging, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD)



Chris DeSouza, PhD

Robert Eckel, MD

Mark Geraci, MD

James Hill, PhD

Wendy Kohrt, PhD

Leslie Leinwand, PhD

Deborah Main, PhD

Judith Regensteiner, PhD

Jane Reusch, MD

Nanette Santoro, MD

Margaret Wierman, MD

Phillip Zeitler, MD


Questions about the program should be addressed to, Principal Investigator and Program Director for the Colorado BIRCWH.