REACH Equity Summer Undergraduate Research Program (RESURP)

The 2020 summer program is no longer accepting applications. Summer 2021 applications will be open in December 2020.



Compared to Whites, Racial and Ethnic Minorities (African Americans, Hispanics/ Latinos, and other minorities are less likely to receive necessary procedures or medications for many conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV.  As a result, racial and ethnic minorities experience poorer health outcomes and are more likely to die from many of these conditions than whites.  While differences in factors such as insurance coverage contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in health, research shows that racial and ethnic minorities also receive lower quality healthcare than whites even when they have similar insurance coverage and access to care.  This suggests that other factors, namely doctors and other clinicians or health care providers that make-up of the healthcare system itself also contribute to poorer health outcomes for minorities.

The overall goal of the Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity is to develop and test ways to improve the quality of care that racial and ethnic minorities receive from doctors and hospitals.  The Center offers a number of research, education, and training opportunities for students, trainees, and faculty interested in racial and ethnic disparities in health.


RESURP is an 8- week summer program for rising junior and senior undergraduate students. The overall goals of the program are to: increase students’ knowledge of the causes and consequences of racial and ethnic disparities in health; introduce students to basic skills in clinical research and provide an opportunity to conduct a health disparities research project; provide an opportunity for students to shadow Duke faculty in a clinical setting.

RESURP Students with REACH Equity Faculty

Program Highlights

Through a series of interactive sessions and hands on activities led by REACH Equity Center faculty, RESURP will include the following (and more): 

  • Introduction to racial and ethnic disparities in health and their causes, including: social determinants of health (education, income, insurance, housing), the make-up of the healthcare system, and provider beliefs and behaviors related to implicit (unconscious) bias
  • Local community tour to learn how social determinants impact health and contribute to disparities
  • Scavenger hunt on the Duke campus
  • Introduction to clinical research methods, data collection and database creation, statistical analysis, Institutional Review Boards, medical ethics, and minority participation in research
  • Participation in a two-day, community-based Racial Equity Training Workshop
  • Shadowing of clinical faculty
  • Informal sessions with Duke faculty, trainees, and students to hear about their experiences
  • Workshops and lectures on presentation skills, professionalism, and teamwork
  • Completion of a small group, mentored health disparities research project through collecting data, creating a REDCap database, exporting data for statistical analysis, and creating a PowerPoint presentation
  • Oral presentation of the group project at special symposium

2019 Group Projects:

  • "Publication Outcomes of Racial and Ethnic Disparities Research Presented at the 2014 American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference," Brandon Bui and Lenique Huggins
  • "An Evaluation and Comparative Analysis Between Health Disparity and Other Health-related Grants in 2014," Michaela Brown, Destanei Hargrove, Angela Renee

Where: Duke University campus, Durham, NC

When: June 8 - July 30 (8 weeks)

Who is eligible: Students who will be junior or senior undergraduates in fall 2020 are eligible.  The competitive program will provide up to four selected students with a $3,200 stipend. Note: the program does NOT provide housing assistance.

Download the application here: RESURP Application

Address questions to Cheryl Miller:

Full application consists of:

  • Completed application form (including employment, volunteer, community, and scholarly activities)
  • Letters of recommendation from two non-family members (emailed by letter writers directly to the program)
  • School transcript
  • Essay (instructions included in the application form)

Finalists will be invited for a brief interview. Selection of up to four students will be made by late April 2020.