Skip to main content

Mentorship Opportunities

CGWH Post-Doctoral and Doctoral Mentorship Opportunities

Research Training to Promote Health in Vulnerable Populations 

The Center for Global Women’s Health (CGWH) and the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) are pleased to be awarded funding from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019 to support pre- and post-doctoral research training in health equity and health disparities research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. This grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) provides funding for tuition, stipend, and other expenses for five pre-doctoral and four post-doctoral fellows preparing for independent programs of research in the area of health promotion for vulnerable women, children, and families. 

Summary of Specific Aims

Compelling evidence continues to accumulate that vulnerable populations such as minorities and people living in poverty are more likely to have shorter life expectancies and an increased prevalence of a variety of health compromising conditions as compared to other segments of the population. Thus, research training for young scholars who study vulnerable populations (women, children, and families) is critical to the health of the nation.

This grant from a senior group of exemplary scientists for Research Training on Vulnerable Women, Children, and Families (T32NR007100), Scholars’ Training in Interdisciplinary Methods, Analytic Techniques, and Technologies (STIMULATE), will serve to eliminate health disparities or differences in the prevalence, mortality and impact of chronic health conditions in women, children, and families. The goal, to reduce health disparities, is in concert with the overarching goals of Healthy People 20201 and the Strategic Plan of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).  Trainees will learn to address novel questions, use innovative approaches and measurement strategies, and tackle the critical issues associated with health disparities from new perspectives.

The training program is housed in the SON’s CGWH and CHER and has as a primary goal: To improve health among disempowered, marginalized, vulnerable, and under-represented populations through research and training, thereby narrowing the gap in health disparities. We define vulnerable populations as those groups of people with a demographic (such as age/race/ethnicity/education), economic, illness, disability, or residential status that places them at risk for health outcomes disparities (individual or community health outcomes) and/or health care disparities (access to and quality of care).

The insight that these two aspects of health disparities provide are distinct concepts that will allow us to focus on individual, family, and community health consequences amenable to participatory and bio-behavioral interventions. It will allow trainees to study concepts within the Institute of Medicine’s definition of health disparities (racial or ethnic differences in the quality of health care that are not due to access-related factors or clinical needs, preferences, and appropriateness of intervention).

The specific aims for our trainees are to:

  1. Study multi-system level factors that contribute to health disparities among vulnerable women and children with chronic health conditions (or at risk for chronic health conditions) and their families through an interdisciplinary lens and using biological markers, laboratory methods, and behavioral methods and measures.
  2. Develop methodological expertise in emerging health information technology to screen persons; support self/family management and symptom management strategies; develop and deliver culturally responsive, evidence based interventions to prevent or manage chronic health conditions; and measure health outcomes to reduce health disparities in women, children, and families.
  3. Train with a diverse group of interdisciplinary scientists, community leaders, and nurse researchers in a variety of focal methodologic areas such as biochemistry, digital imaging science, engineering, geography/cartography, genetics/genomics/epigenetics, health policy, pharmacology, physiology, public health and sleep science.
  4. Engage in the ethical conduct of research with the meaningful use of existing and emerging technology, biological measurement, and/or community participatory methods and interventions for chronic conditions (or to prevent chronic health conditions) in vulnerable women, children, and families.

The objectives are to prepare nurse scientists to:

  1. Promote health and symptom management in vulnerable women, children, and families with or at risk for chronic conditions through the “meaningful use” of technology.
  2. To develop knowledge and skills in interdisciplin​ary research methods, apply existing and emerging technologies, integrate biological measures, and apply advanced analysis techniques.
  3. Continue to expand the scope of biobehavioral nursing research through the recruitment and training of investigators from diverse backgrounds.
  4. Gain cutting-edge biological and technical training to support self/family-management and symptom-management strategies and develop/deliver culturally-responsive, evidence-based interventions to prevent or manage chronic health conditions.

Criteria for Appointment of Pre-Doctoral Fellows

 The five most important criteria for appointment to a Post-Doctoral Fellowship associated with a T32 institutional training grant are the:

  • Match with the overall goals and objectives of the training grant and affiliated Center;
  • Match with the T32 and Center-affiliated faculty advisor;
  • Scholarly potential for nursing science inquiry that has a high impact;
  • Commitment to a research career in a research-intensive environment;
  • Scholarly productivity during and/or after the research doctoral training.


Candidates for Fellowship will be competitively evaluated based on the above criteria. We value a diverse population of Post-Doctoral Fellows with a strong commitment to nursing science, focused motivation, and an academic record that demonstrates a high level of intellectual achievement and curiosity.