The Health Disparities Research Scholars (HDRS) Program is an interdisciplinary post-doctoral training program based in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. This program supports the training of scholars from diverse fields to become interdisciplinary researchers with a focus on health among minoritized populations, particularly maternal/child, adolescent, and family health.
The HDRS Program has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development since 2007. In 2023, the grant was renewed for another five years through the spring of 2028, continuing to fund five postdoctoral positions. To date, 23 fellows have completed their training in the program. The objective of the HDRS Program is to provide training at the postdoctoral level in interdisciplinary research that addresses disparities in health status and health outcomes among minority populations, as well as to attract and maintain underrepresented minorities in academic research careers. We integrate biomedical sciences, public health sciences, and sociocultural and behavioral sciences that are prerequisite to addressing health disparities. Thus, the HDRS Program provides interdisciplinary and multifaceted opportunities for research.
The NIH and IOM call for greater diversity in the research workforce as a means to address health disparities. Attracting scholars of color from various disciplines such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, sociologists, social workers, and nutritionists, into academic research careers will help in this endeavor. Thus, to address not only the broad array of research areas outlined above but also the interdisciplinary nature of the possible candidates, the faculty is interdisciplinary and consists of physician scientists, perinatal researchers, sociologists, psychologists, nutritional scientists, epidemiologists and economists. Since retention of scholars from underrepresented populations in academic careers is essential, we are committed to making the environment supportive, academically rewarding, culturally enriching and professionally satisfying.