The scholarship of individuals from certain communities, especially Black individuals; Indigenous people; people of color; individuals from low-income communities; individuals with disabilities; LGBTQ+ individuals; non-native English speakers; first generation college graduates—and individuals who identify with more than one of these groups—have not been adequately supported in academia. Structural racism and discrimination have created obstacles for many qualified individuals when pursuing an academic career. Biased methods of assessment and evaluation criteria for tenure—and other forms of unfair treatment—can also lead to disparities in advancement and promotion.
Many researchers from historically underrepresented backgrounds, who wish to investigate root causes of and solutions to health disparities, face challenges of insufficient funding and barriers to attaining tenure. Without mentors at their institutions who understand their lived experiences and supportive professional networks to help identify and offer guidance in pursuing opportunities, underrepresented researchers face many obstacles to academic career advancement.
Health Equity Scholars for Action (HES4A) is designed to enhance the supports, resources, and community necessary for participants to thrive professionally and personally, and in turn, be better able to contribute to and expand health equity-related research and evidence that can help build a Culture of Health.
The goal of HES4A is to support the career development and academic advancement of HURs conducting health equity research. Grants will be awarded to address the challenges that HURs typically experience and help them overcome obstacles to earning tenure. Grants will support three aspects of career development: 1) Research, 2) Mentorship, and 3) Connection with a community of support.
The following are expectations for all HES4A scholars:
The grant funds provided to the institutions under the program cover the scholars’ annual stipends and health insurance, and expenses associated with their research and travel.