BIRCWH Program Accepting Applications for Women's Health Research

image of BIRCWH logo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program is now accepting applications for scholars and associates interested in research to advance women's health.

Applications are being accepted through March 15, 2021, for two scholar positions and up to three associate positions available effective August 2021.

The UK Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program is entering its 21st year as a founding National Institutes of Health program. BIRCWH scholars and associates, who are selected through a competitive application process, are junior faculty from across the University of Kentucky. BIRCWH faculty are those with the interest and potential to establish their own funded research programs in women’s health.

This call for applications is for a 12-month appointment. During the 12 months, selected faculty are expected to complete training in the ethical conduct of research, participate in seminars and set the foundation to become an established, independent researcher in women's health. In order to accomplish these goals, this NIH training grant covers 75% of the scholar's protected time to focus on research. Associates’ protected time for research (30-50%) is negotiated with UK colleges. The associate program is ideal for untenured faculty new to UK, or those without U.S. citizenship/permanent residency.

The UK BIRCWH program offers many resources including mentorship, networking, professional and career development opportunities, and manuscript and grant writing assistance. The goal is to support BIRCWH members on their trajectory to becoming independent and funded women’s health researchers.

BIRCWH scholars benefit not only from the expertise and guidance of Drs. Thomas Curry, Ann Coker and Susan Smyth, but also from a cadre of faculty who mentor scholars in five focused and interacting areas of women's health:

  • Drug abuse and its relationship to sex and gender differences
  • Cancer as it relates to sex and gender differences
  • Hormonal regulation across a woman's lifespan
  • Women's cardiovascular and endocrine health and pregnancy outcomes; and
  • Prevention of gender-based violence

The BIRCWH program has also become a support group of sorts, providing regular interaction with colleagues who not only have interconnected research interests but who are also at similar points in their careers and are therefore experiencing many of the same challenges — not the least of which is how to maintain work-life balance while advancing a research career and juggling instructional and/or clinical demands.

Increased Focus on Women's Health and Sex Differences Research

The BIRCWH program constitutes one element of a broader and growing federal focus on advancing research in women's health and sex differences. The NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, which houses the BIRCWH program, was itself established 30 years ago in order to better include women and women's health in clinical research and science.

For information on the application process, please visit:

Please contact Emily Clear ( with any questions.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.