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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion


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Mentoring and Training

The Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion fosters academic research career development through the mentoring and training of local and distant junior investigators across multiple disciplines. Junior investigators have access to a large pool of talented mentors from numerous disciplines within CHERP and our academic affiliates, many with expertise in our areas of research focus and concentration.

The Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion aims to increase VA and national capacity for rigorous health equity and health services research by:

  • Supporting activities to increase minority representation in the health sciences and health services research;
  • Capitalizing on VA training programs to increase capacity for partnered, impact-oriented research;
  • Developing educational programs to support research career development and continuous learning for HSR&D investigators and staff.

Programs to Increase Minority Representation

CHERP supports programs spanning the complete educational pipeline to increase minority representation in the health sciences and health services research. In Pittsburgh, CHERP is a training site for the Doris Duke Foundation Academy for Clinical Research to provide minority high school students with 8 weeks of clinical research training.
CHERP investigators lead new programs for underrepresented minority medical students to stimulate their pursuit of scholarly projects in health services research. CHERP faculty also provide mentoring to minority scholars in the Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) Program which provides participants with the foundation for a successful research career. In Philadelphia, CHERP supports the Summer Undergraduate Minority Research Program, a program that introduces minority undergraduate students to health services research mentored by CHERP or University of Pennsylvania faculty.

Access to Career Development and Training Resources

CHERP capitalizes on the training programs of the VA and our academic affiliates to provide junior investigators with training.

Junior investigators in Pittsburgh have access to the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) at the University of Pittsburgh. The ICRE supports academic career development and research training through individualized degree programs in clinical and translational science (PhD), clinical research (MS), and medical education (MS) and through educational programs focused on the mentor-mentee relationship.

Junior investigators in Philadelphia have access to abundant training resources at the University of Pennsylvania, including a Master's degree program in biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, public health, translational research, health policy research, and health care management, and doctoral programs in epidemiology, biostatistics, and management economics. University of Pennsylvania is also a training site for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program and the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program.

The CHERP Health Services Research Fellowship on a yearly basis supports up to four post-doctoral training positions for qualified individuals who wish to develop and enhance skills in health services research. Post-doctoral trainees join a rich environment of scholars and educators in health services research at either the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and their affiliated academic research centers or the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and their affiliated centers and programs.

Distance Mentoring

The Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion strives to expand its capacity for use of distance mentoring. Such programs provide junior investigators with opportunities to obtain feedback and advice from senior investigators from other institutions and often lead to more sustained distance mentoring relationships. Current communication technology enables our junior investigators to engage content and methodological mentors from around the country and provides opportunities for our senior faculty to mentor investigators at distant sites, broadening opportunities for networking and collaboration.