Information for Applicants

Applicants must propose original research that addresses the REACH Equity theme:  to develop and test interventions that reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health by improving the quality of patient-centered care in the clinical encounter.  For additional information, please review About the Program.


  1. Mentored career development award
  2. Up to $75,000 direct costs per year for two years
    • At least 50% TPE devoted to award
    • Funds may be used for salary support, personnel, research supplies, travel, professional development

PLEASE NOTE:  For the REACH Equity award, you must commit to 50% protected time, but this effort does not have to be covered entirely by the award.  If your mentor/division/dept is willing and able to contribute to  your effort support such that the award contribution costs less than $75,000, the remaining award funds could be used for research support.  If you decide to do this, you must  provide evidence that your total protected time for the REACH Equity research and career development activities will add up to at least 50% of your total effort.

The REACH Equity project must constitute at least 50% of your time, but some of that effort can be paid for from another source other than the REACH Equity award.


  1. Research or health-professional doctoral degree or its equivalent
  2. Instructor or Assistant Professor. Fellows or postdocs may apply if they will have a faculty appointment at the start of the award.
  3. You may not have current funding for an external career development award or be PI on an R01 or equivalent. Funding from any other source may be acceptable as long as the research proposed for REACH Equity is distinct, and you will be able to devote at least 50% effort to it.
  4. You may submit an application even if you have an internal or external K under review.

Other requirements and support

REACH Equity is committed to helping junior investigators to build successful careers in health disparities research.  As such, the Center will provide additional mentorship and REACH Equity CDA awardees will participate in a number of activities which will bolster the success of their research and career development.  Applicants should include a statement of commitment to the following:

  1. Use of the MentorDukeApp, a Smartphone application developed at Duke for tracking of the frequency, content and quality of mentoring interactions
  2. Participation in CTSA-sponsored Health Disparities Research Curriculum.
  3. Participation in training in community-engaged research through the REACH Equity Community Engagement and Dissemination Core
  4. Participation in activities of the REACH Equity Center, including Works-in-progress seminar and annual disparities research colloquium
  5. Consult with the REACH Equity Methods, Measures and Analysis sub-core for input on final study design, analytic and measurement methods, and to ensure rigor and reproducibility in research conduct
  6. A presentation to the REACH Equity Stakeholder Advisory Board at least annually

Additional information regarding the REACH Equity Center will be available soon.

Application requirements

Your application must include a research and career development plan (5 pages) as outlined below.

Research Plan:

  1. Specific aims
  2. Background, Significance, Approach
  3. Demonstration that the proposed project addresses the REACH Equity theme
  4. Future Directions–Plan for submitting next-step funding application(s)
  5. Timeline for research and career development activities

Career development plan:

  1. Description of the candidate, background, career objectives
  2. Description of primary mentor and mentorship team, mentorship plan (frequency of interactions, etc.)
  3. Skill development that is specific for your research agenda
  4. Training in the responsible conduct of research
  5. Participation in other career development activities as appropriate (K-club/Path to Independence, LEADER Program, etc.)

Additional application materials (required):

  1. Candidate NIH Biosketch
  2. Proposed primary mentor NIH Biosketch
  3. Letter of recommendation from your proposed primary mentor indicating his/her willingness to devote sufficient time and energy to serve in this capacity. This letter should include a specific and detailed mentoring plan, including how frequently the mentor will meet with you.
  4. Letter of recommendation signed by Department Chair (and Division Chief, if appropriate).  In addition to a letter of recommendation, this letter must include approval of a plan for protecting at least 50% of your university effort (at least 30 hours per week) for the two years of REACH Equity funding.  This letter should come from the person who is authorized to commit to protected time for this award (i.e. Department Chair).  When appropriate (e.g., joint appointment), applicants must provide a letter from each individual who is in a position to commit to protected time.  If you are a senior research fellow, this letter must also provide assurance that you will have received a faculty appointment prior to or by the start of the REACH Equity appointment.
  5. Budget and justification
    • At least 50% effort support
    • Remaining funds may be used for personnel, research supplies, travel
  6. If have published papers, citations of up to three that you consider most representative of your research goals and potential. Please include disparities research publications if possible

Review criteria

  1. Strength of the candidate and his/her potential to transition to independent research
  2. Scientific and mentoring track record of the mentor
  3. Strong research plan that addresses the Center’s theme and is likely to lead to subsequent scientific and funding success