The Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity) is now accepting applications for its summer undergraduate research program – RESURP

Applications for summer 2019 program closed. Applications for summer 2020 program available December 2019


Compared to Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, 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, minorities experience poorer health 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, 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 the make-up of the healthcare system itself also contribute to poorer health outcomes for minorities.

The overall goal of REACH 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.

Program Highlights

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

  • Introduction to racial and ethnic disparities in health
  • Introduction to causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health, including the social determinants of health (education, income, insurance, housing, etc.), 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
  • Introduction to clinical research methods
  • Participation in a Racial Equity Training Workshop
  • Shadowing of clinical faculty
  • Informal sessions with Duke faculty, trainees, and students to hear about their experiences
  • Small group, mentored health disparities research project
  • Oral presentation of the group project at special symposium

Where: Duke Clinical Research Institute located in Downtown Durham, NC

When: 8 weeks beginning June 17, 2019

Who is eligible: Students who will be junior or senior undergraduates in the Fall 2019 are eligible.  The competitive program will provide up to four selected students with a $3,200 stipend. Note: the program does NOT provide housing.

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 short interview. Announcement of up to four selected students by late April 2019.