BIRCWH Program

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program is an internal K12 grant mechanism from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health that fosters mentored research career development of junior faculty of either gender who are engaged in interdisciplinary women’s health or sex differences research. Research must be relevant to women’s health or sex/gender differences. Programs that address basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological, and health services research are encouraged to apply.
The aim of this training program is to place junior investigators on the path to be competitive for NIH independent K- or R- awards. Success of the program is judged by the number of trainees who go on to secure independent NIH K-awards and NIH R21 grants in the short term, and NIH R01, and R01 equivalent funding in the long term, for women’s health or sex differences research.

On Average UMN BIRCWH Scholars receive $850,787 in federal, internal and other funding within the first 5 years post-award.

Award Information

  • 75% (50% Surgeon) salary support (up to $100,000 inclusive of fringe), $25,000 in research and career development support per year
  • Appointment is for three years contingent on satisfactory performance 
  • Up to three scholars are awarded at one time
  • Assistant Professor (in rank ≤ 6 years; Have no more than six years of research or research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree)

We are not accepting applications at this time.

Please email with any questions.


Application Form 
We are not accepting applications at this time. 


The Scholar position is a junior faculty appointment, not a fellowship. At the time of the appointment, candidates for support as BIRCWH Scholars must:

  • Have a clinical doctorate or Ph.D. degree or its equivalent;
  • Have completed any postgraduate training normally expected for a faculty appointment in their field (including clinical or postdoctoral fellowship training, or residency if they have chosen not to subspecialize);
  • Have no more than six years of research or research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree  However, in order to accommodate the needs of those interested in participating in this program that may have had a career hiatus because of family responsibilities, uniformed service, etc., there is no limit on time elapsed since completion of training;
  • Identify mentors with extensive research experience;
  • Be able to spend at least 9 person months (or at least 6 person months for surgical-specialties) of full-time professional effort conducting research and research career development activities;
  • Not be or have been a PD/PI on an R01, R29 or subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, U54) grant, independent mentored career development (K-series) grants, or other equivalent research grant awards; except for R03 and R21;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or noncitizen national, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-155) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent citizen. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.


  1. Have at least 75% protected (50% for Surgeons) time for up to three years of the award to conduct the proposed research.
  2. Devote a minimum of 9 person-months per year during appointment period
  3. Interprofessional mentoring team of at least 3 including:
    • Primary mentor (must be at the University of Minnesota)
    • Secondary mentors, at least two
    • At least one mentor must have statistical and methodological expertise.
  4. Submit six-month reports and annual progress report at year one, year two, and a final progress report upon completion of the program. Participate in annual review with mentors and BIRCWH leadership team. Continued availability of awarded funds will be contingent on the annual progress report and review.
  5. Participate in all required BIRCWH program activities including, but not limited to, annual WHRP/BIRCWH meeting, required weekly seminars, mentoring workshop, grant writing program, WHRP journal club, UMN/Mayo Clinic BIRCWH Leadership workshops, the Annual Women’s Health Research Conference, courses, seminars, annual reports, etc
  6. BIRCWH alumni are expected to provide annual updates of submitted and funded grants and publications and participate in mentoring current BIRCWH scholars.