Cancer Disparities T32 Training Program

The Cancer Related Health Disparities Training Program seeks to train researchers who are prepared to conduct community-engaged research to develop, test, and disseminate interventions in both clinical and community settings to reduce cancer-related health disparities among communities most impacted by inequities.

The program also intends to enhance the diversity of the research workforce in this area of study by specifically recruiting individuals from underrepresented or underresourced populations.

The program is innovative in focusing on education and experience in community-engaged research and on interventions to reduce cancer disparities. It's also innovative in mentorship, in which community members provide cultural mentoring and partnership in all aspects of research.

This T32 Cancer Related Health Disparities Training Program is a joint effort between the University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health. It's funded by the National Cancer Institute, Grant T32 CA163184.

How to Apply

*****This application cycle is now closed. Please email to be added to our listserv to receive announcements about open positions.

The program offers training for up to three predoctoral individuals who must be accepted into a PhD program in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The program also accepts up to three postdoctoral individuals with MD, PhD, or equivalent degrees.

Predoctoral positions

  • 1 positions available; earliest start date is Sept 2020
  • 3-year appointment; continuation each year is contingent on progress
  • Applications will close on February 14, 2020; interviews slated for March 2020

Postdoctoral positions

  • 1 position available; earliest start date is January 2020
  • 2-year appointment; continuation each year is contingent on progress
  • Position will remain open until filled.

Program Experience

The program provides exceptional educational and career development opportunities.

Trainees will do the following:

  • Engage in ongoing and independent research that focuses on developing, testing, and evaluating interventions in clinical and community settings to reduce cancer-related inequities among underrepresented and underresourced populations (broadly defined here to include race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, income, geography, gender, sexual orientation, etc).
  • Receive interdisciplinary training through two required core courses: a monthly seminar and a writing workshop.
  • Collaborate with a dynamic, federally funded, multi-disciplinary team of investigators (psychologists, physicians, epidemiologists, and statisticians) and with cultural community organizations that have a history of community-university research partnerships to address community-identified problems.

The program can be tailored to suit the trainee's training requirements with opportunities for teaching experience, clinical and community-based work, authorship on relevant manuscripts, collaborative grant writing experience, and rigorous independent grant submission. There is also support for conference travel and other training experiences.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents. (Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support).
  • Preferred candidates will have experience working with community-based organizations.
  • Interest and experience within cancer-related health disparities research is preferred.
  • Criteria for selection of all fellows include academic performance and a career orientation toward independent research in an academic, clinical, or public health setting related to cancer and health disparities.
  • Fellows must be able to commit full-time in the program at the time of appointment.
  • Predoctoral applicants will typically have a master’s degree or equivalent degree in a biologic or behavioral discipline and must be accepted into a PhD program in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
  • Postdoctoral applicants must have a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, etc.) in any of the following disciplines: medicine, behavioral science, epidemiology, health education, health services research, sociology, anthropology, clinical, social or counseling psychology, or a related discipline.
  • Preferred postdoctoral candidates will have experience and peer-reviewed publications in above disciplines.

Stipend and Benefits


Stipends are based on current NIH-approved levels and years of postdoctoral experience. Please note that there is a potential payback requirement for postdoctoral trainees who take non-research positions prior to the end of two years.


The amount of tuition covered by the program is subject to the actual NIH award. Support is provided for predoctoral trainees and is partially available for postdoctoral coursework.

Other training-related expenses

Reimbursement for textbooks, other required course materials, and certain other research-related expenses are on a pre-approval basis.

Health insurance

Predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees are encouraged and eligible to secure the Graduate Assistant Health Plan for single coverage through the University of Minnesota (trainees pay 5%).

If preferred, trainees can find their own health insurance provider, and the program will reimburse them for an amount up to the Graduate Assistant Health Plan single coverage rate. Prior permission from the program coordinator is required.


Reimbursement of pre-approved travel expenses is limited to one professional meeting per grant year. Maximum dollar amount is subject to the actual NIH award, approximately $800-1,000 annually.


Trainees will each have three mentors: one each from medicine, public health, and the community.

Postdoctoral trainees: This is a mutual choice between the fellow and program leadership.

Predoctoral trainees: Advisor/mentor assignments are partially made by the graduate program with consultation from program leadership and the PhD student.


Annual evaluation requirements include performance evaluations, updates for human subjects documentation, and the program's grant continuations or renewals.

  • Faculty & Staff
  • Fellows
  • Faculty Mentors
  • Community Advisory Committee
  • Steering Committee/Co-investigators
  • Faculty & Staff

    Principal Investigator & Director

    Michele Allen MD, MS
    Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health
    Director, Program in Health Disparities Research

    Program Coordinator

    Mikow Hang
    Program in Health Disparities Research

  • Fellows

    Predoctoral Trainees

    T32 predoctoral trainee serena xiongSerena Xiong

    Start Date: January 2017

    Predoctoral Fellow Serena Xiong is a PhD student in Epidemiology and Community Health. Her research interests are in cancer disparities, immigrant and minority health, health disparities/health equity, evaluation, e-health/mhealth, and health policies. She is a proponent of community-based participatory research, and would like to further advance the literature and practices in how to democratize the research process between universities and communities. Following the completion of her degree, Serena would like to stay in academia to further her teaching and research career.



    T32 predoctoral trainee manami bhattacharyaManami Bhattacharya

    Start Date: Sept 2017

    Bio: Coming Soon







    no picture iconCollin Calvert

    Start Date: Sept 2018

    Bio: Coming Soon





    Postdoctoral Trainees

    no picture iconJonathan Miller, PhD

    Start Date: September 2017

    Postdoctoral Fellow Jonathan Miller is a post-doctoral associate in the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He is an Epidemiologist and Biostatistician with an interest in cancer prevention in underserved populations, particularly through physical activity interventions. Dr. Miller has worked extensively in North Minneapolis: implementing and evaluating year-round outdoor physical activity programs for elementary and middle school students through the Loppet Foundation. His research is focused on the life-course development of physical activity behavior and its role preventing cancer and other adverse health outcomes.



    no picture iconKristin Moore, PhD

    Start Date: May 2019

    Kristin Moore is a post-doctoral associate in the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Kristin is interested in the epidemiology of cancer and reproductive, perinatal and pediatric outcomes. She is working on projects related to understanding disparities that exist within the childhood cancer, and childhood cancer survivors communities. Kristin is also working on projects to improve the obstetric and gynecologic care that all women receive.

  • Faculty Mentors

    The faculty mentors are a group of highly talented and successful cancer researchers who are multidisciplinary in their expertise, spanning cancer biology, genetics, socio-behavioral, epidemiology, public health, medicine, health services, policy, community engagement, clinical, and translational spectrum of cancer research.

    Their academic homes include the divisions of Epidemiology and Community Health, Environmental Health Sciences, Biostatistics, and Health Policy and Management in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; the departments of Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Urology in the Medical School; and the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy.

    Their broad range of research interests include:

    •  Alcohol and tobacco use prevention, nicotine dependence and smoking cessation
    •  Obesity, nutrition, and physical activity
    •  Stress and psychosocial risk factors in chronic disease
    •  Health care access and quality for disadvantaged populations
    •  Immigrant health
    •  Cancer therapies
    •  Chemical carcinogens

    Medical School Faculty

    •  Michele Allen, MD, MS
    •  Sharon Allen, MD, PhD
    •  Tiffany Beckman, MD, MPH
    •  Diana Burgess, PhD
    •  Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH
    •  Steven Fu, MD
    •  Kalpna Gupta, PhD
    •  Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD
    •  Anne Joseph, MD, MPH
    •  Badrinath Konety, MD, MBA
    •  Carol Lange, PhD
    •  Logan Spector, PhD
    •  Lucie Turcotte, MD, MPH
    •  Christopher Warlick, MD, PhD
    •  Doug Yee, MD

    Pharmacy Faculty

    •  Natalia Tetryakova, PhD

    Public Health Faculty

    •  Bruce Alexander, PhD
    •  Kathleen Call, PhD
    •  Jean Forster, PhD, MPH
    •  Simone French, PhD
    •  Eileen Harwood, PhD
    •  Deb Hennrikus, PhD
    •  Keith Horvath, PhD
    •  Pamela Jo Johnson, PhD, MPH
    •  Rhonda Jones-Webb, DrPH, MPH
    •  Melissa Laska, PhD
    •  DeAnn Lazovich, PhD, MPH
    •  Chap Le, PhD
    •  Heather Nelson, PhD, MPH
    •  Toben Nelson, ScD
    •  Michael Oakes, PhD
    •  Theresa Osypuk, SD, SM
    •  Lisa Peterson, PhD
    •  Anna Prizment, PhD
    •  Simon Rosser, PhD, MPH
    •  Irina Stepanov, PhD

  • Community Advisory Committee

    The Community Advisory Committee is comprised of leaders of various community organizations who have demonstrated a clear commitment to issues of cancer-related health disparities, experience with community-engaged research, and commitment to the training of diverse health professionals.

    Community mentors will provide perspectives and guidance from diverse community groups to help shape, implement, and evaluate the program and mentor predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows as they establish research relationships with community members and community-based organizations.

    Fellows will be matched with a community mentor to ensure they are prepared to conduct cancer-related health disparities research in partnership with community members and community-based organizations. It will also provide fellows a perspective on building respect and trust with communities and sharing power and intellectual authority.

  • Steering Committee/Co-investigators

    •  Michele Allen, MD, MS
        Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health
    •  Kathleen Call, PhD
        Professor, Health Policy & Management
    •  Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH
        Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
    •  Rhonda Jones-Webb, PhD
        Professor, Epidemiology and Community Health
    •  DeAnn Lazovich, PhD, MPH
        Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Community Health