The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the Center for Women’s Health Research (CWHR) at the University of Minnesota a $1,133,889 grant to fund their competitive renewal of the K12 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program for its 4th consecutive cycle. The UMN was first awarded the K12 BIRCWH in 2007 and has now secured funding until 2027.

The newest competitive renewal of the UMN K12 BIRCWH grant is led by Co-PIs Drs. Jerica Berge, Bharat Thyagarajan, Sharon Allen, and Administrative Staff Kait Macheledt, MPH. In this new cycle of the grant, three new competencies were added, including: (1) Health equity and antiracism research training, (2) Community-engaged scholarship, and (3) Leadership training in women’s health and sex/gender differences. 

The BIRCWH award allows the CWHR to support competency-based and interdisciplinary team-mentored research career development programs for junior faculty or “Scholars” built on the Office of Research on Women’s Health strategic goals to advance their careers in women’s health and/or sex difference research. The K12 awards given to individual Scholars cover 75% of their faculty time and provide funding for their research projects.

The main objective and vision of the UMN BIRCWH program are to improve the health of all women across the lifespan and, by extension, to improve the health of their families and communities in Minnesota, the nation, and the world. Their short-term objective to achieve the UMN BIRCWH vision is to facilitate our scholars' research careers and independence by expanding their research skills, experience in team science, research networks, and leadership abilities and increasing their scholarly productivity. Over the last 14 years, over 16 BIRCWH Scholars have published 1,017 (367 first author) manuscripts and received 22 NIH grants as PI (total funding $48,239,932). Additionally, 13 alumni (81%) have been promoted to associate professor or higher, and 10 are in leadership positions

To learn more, please reach out to Kait Macheledt (