CHER Institute

 

CHER logo

 

The 2022 CHER Institute will be Monday June 6- Saturday June 11, and will be virtual. 

Applications will open in October, Priority Deadline for submission is Friday March 4, 2022 and Waitlist/Final Deadline Monday April 4, 2022. 

Now in its sixth year, the CHER Institute is proud to offer a program aiming to enhance the readiness of early career faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to conduct community-based, social and health behavior research and to increase their representation among National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded investigators.

Beginning in June 2020, CHER Institute moved to an online format: In previous years, faculty from across the U.S. would convene at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to participate in the six-day, intensive research training experience. Due to concerns over COVID-19, the 2020 CHER Institute adapted to a different model. Because the safety of all participants is important to us, the 2020 and 2021 CHER Institutes were held in a virtual space. For the 2022 Institute it will be virtual as well.

Participants still received mentorship by a team of nationally-recognized social and health behavior research experts, including webinars to provide additional training to faculty participants and others who are interested in health equity research. With the online model, our team created web portals and used Zoom seminars and breakout rooms to achieve the same goals. 

2021 CHER Institute staff, mentors and fellows on Zoom

2021 Institute Fellows and Mentors

 

2020 CHER Institute Group Photo

2020 Institute Fellows and Mentors

 

 

 

The CHER Institute Experience

During the six-day, intensive research training Institute, our fellows receive mentorship by a team of nationally-recognized social and health behavior research experts.

 

 

Here is a sample of a daily agenda:

cutaway view of agenda

 

Former Institute Fellows can attest to the valuable experiences and tools for success they attribute to the CHER Institute:

When the Institute was in-person in 2019, CSULB President Dr. Jane Close Conoley welcomed our new cohort of researchers from across the country. As the former Dean at Texas A&M, Dr. Conoley recalled starting what was then called the Center for Health Disparities, and how the field has changed, yet the challenges remain.

She spoke about how the work being done by diverse, interdisciplinary groups exactly like the CHER Institute represents the "future of the field", and how even in a progressive modern city of nearly a half million residents like Long Beach, California the research and policy implications for "health disparity issues are tremendous."

CSULB Provost Brian Jersky also provided greetings to the new cohort of researchers. Provost Jersky recognized the persistent levels of inequity here in the U.S. and highlighted the importance of health research as a vessel to promote change within the community. He commended participants for dedicating their professional careers to this work, which he values as “truly noble.”

In previous years, CSULB College of Health and Human Services Dean Dr. Monica Lounsbery also spoke to the group of visiting scholars. While the focus of the Institute as a whole centers on educating and empowering new researchers to secure NIH funding, Dr. Lounsbery also stressed the importance of interdisciplinarity:

“As you'll learn, it's really important to understand the focus of your work and how you may serve as a team member not only for your own research but as a connector for others as well. So it's really important to use this opportunity fully, and I really am excited that you're having a lot of opportunity for dialogue and interaction.”

Dr. Lounsbery talked about how this approach echoes President Conoley’s initiatives across campus:

“No Barriers. Closing the Gap. And a really growth mindset. This whole workshop is about professional development, and even those of us who are participating as instructors are learning every day. So I hope that you adopt the idea that mentorship is important… it's important to think about that across the trajectory of your career. Because I really believe that's what sustains high level successful careers over a lifetime.”

How do I apply?

The 2022 CHER Institute will be June 6-11, and will be virtual. 

Priority Deadline for 2022 CHER Institute is Friday, March 4, 2022 the Waitlist/Final Deadline is Monday, April 4, 2022.

After reviewing these instructions CLICK HERE to begin your application.

Please note:  When applying, you will be asked to commit to the following:

  • Attend the full 6 day program online.
  • View preparatory videos before the institute.
  • Complete daily evaluations and an institute summative evaluation while virtually attending the institute.
  • Submit overview of literature review and biographical sketch prior to attending the institute, complete all forms as requested by the university in a timely manner to allow for compensation.
  • Submit a Specific Aims and Professional development plan developed during the institute.
  • Complete Annual progress report for 5 years post institute on progress made on grant applications, publications, professional development and impact of the institute by end of May each year.

CLICK to subscribe to the CHER Institute mailing list

The following information is required to apply.

  • An application including demographic information
  • A current CV that includes a list of publications and grants awarded
  • A summary of proposed research describing a pilot study that you would like to further develop as a potential grant proposal. The summary must include a brief discussion of the significance of the problem; proposed research question(s); any preliminary work; and the anticipated data collection methods. This project will be used to develop a Specific Aims page for an NIH proposal during the six-day Institute (not to exceed two pages).  Note: The proposed project must be a social and health behavior research focused study aiming to eliminate health disparities among racial/ethnic minority populations.
  • A description of previous training with qualitative and quantitative research methods, software, and analysis (not to exceed 1000 words).
  • Two letters of recommendation received by the program application due date

Preparing the pieces of your application:

Please open and review the web-based application in advance, then prepare all of the documents you will need. The application is brief, and you will not be able to save partially completed applications. Be prepared to complete all sections and upload all necessary documents before attempting to fill out and submit your online application. You will need to upload the following documents in MS Word format or as Adobe PDF files as part of your CHER Institute Application:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proposed Research Summary
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods Experience

Additional information describing each document is provided within the application.

Additionally, you will need to submit two letters of recommendation. Preferably these will be uploaded at the time of applying, but they may also be sent by mail/email separately. They must, however, be received by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For any technical questions, concerns, or issues submitting this form, please contact: Jeff Wood jefferson.wood@csulb.edu TEL: (562) 985-2176.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CHER Institute?

The CHER Institute is comprised of plenary sessions, seminars, small group science chats, mentoring activities, and peer review and networking sessions designed to increase the number of early career faculty members who are better prepared to become NIH principal investigators in the field of community-based health equity research; and to increase the quantity and quality of health equity research targeting vulnerable ethnic minority populations developed by CHER Institute participants.

Plenary session topics include:

  • Components of an NIH application and review process
  • Responsible conduct and ethics in research particularly in engaging minors in health equity research
  • Integrating theory for culturally sensitive intervention research
  • Engaging ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities in health disparities research
  • Research process including quantitative and qualitative methods and analysis
  • Innovations in research, community engagement, and community-based research
  • Overcoming institutional and logistical challenges

Feedback from last year’s participants was overwhelmingly positive. Participants shared that they were equipped with new ideas and motivation to pursue their own research endeavors. High appreciation was given to the diversity of research experiences of the faculty mentors and of program deliverables, which included a Specific Aims Page to be used as a foundation for future proposals. The CHER Institute provided a valuable learning experience for them and a large majority would recommend the institute to their colleagues.

Who is eligible?

The CHER Institute is designed for early career scientists at MSIs. Interested early career faculty at non-MSI institutions will be accepted based on their research foci and space availability. Eligible scientists must be in tenure-track positions but should not have R01 funding from the NIH, or equivalent funding from another agency. Participants should be conducting (preferred) or committed to community- based, social and health behavior research to enhance health equity among racial and ethnic minority populations.

1. Administrative Eligibility Criteria

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status
  • Tenure-track faculty member status at an eligible institution. (Individuals from non-MSIs may apply, but priority will be given to those from MSIs. A list of Title III and Title V eligible MSI institutions is available from the U.S. Department of Education (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html#el-inst). Please use the list from the most current year.
  • Affiliation with an institution that is eligible to receive federal money
  • Eligible to be a principal investigator at home institution
  • Completion of a terminal research degree or medical residency—whichever date is later—within the past 10 years
  • No previous NIH funding as the principal investigator of a R01 grant
  • No delinquent student loans
  • Not a current recipient of an NIH training award (e.g., NIH K award)

2. Program Eligibility Criteria

Required - To be selected for the program, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she:

  • Is committed to community-based, social and health behavior research to eliminate health disparities among racial/ethnic minority populations
  • Has experience conducting research and publishing scientific manuscripts
  • Is able to commit to attend the full six-day summer session online

Preferred - The most competitive applicants will also demonstrate:

  • Experience conducting community-based social and health behavior research
  • History of obtaining funding for research (e.g., small or exploratory grants, including state, local, and university grants)
  • Experience conducting research in communities and with community-based organizations targeting populations with high levels of health disparities (e.g., racial and ethnic minority communities, communities with a high proportion of disadvantaged or disabled persons)

What is my commitment?

When applying, you will be asked to commit to the following:

  • Attend the full 6 day program online.
  • Complete daily evaluations and an institute summative evaluation while virtually attending the institute.
  • Submit proposal and bio prior to attending the institute, complete all forms as requested by the university in a timely manner to allow for compensation.
  • Submit a Specific Aims and Professional development plan developed during the institute.
  • Complete Annual progress report for 5 years post institute on progress made on grant applications, publications, professional development and impact of the institute by end of May each year.

Is there a fee to participate?

No! There is no cost for attending the Institute. The 2022 CHER Institute will be an online-only experience. 

How do I apply?

The 2022 institute applications will open in October 2021.  

CLICK HERE for more information about applying online.

Should I apply if I am not part of a minority or health disparities population?

Yes! The CHER Institute aims to enhance the readiness of early career faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to conduct community-based, social and health behavior research and to increase their representation among National Institute for Health (NIH)-funded investigators.  Hence, an applicant does not have to be part of a minority or health disparities population.  Another requirement is that the faculty member must be interested in doing research to benefit minority or health disparities populations.

Is the selection process competitive?

Yes! This is an intensive research educational experience, therefore we are only able to select up to 18 participants per year. Thus, all applications will be reviewed by the CHER Institute Leadership Team. The committee will rate applications on the following categories:

  • Demonstrated commitment to community-based, social and health behavior research to eliminate health disparities among racial/ethnic minority populations (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, etc.);
  • Demonstrated experience conducting research and publishing scientific manuscripts;
  • Demonstrated experience conducting community-based social and health behavior research;
  • History of obtaining funding for research (e.g., small or exploratory grants, including state, local, and university grants);
  • Experience conducting research in communities and with community-based organizations targeting populations with high levels of health disparities (e.g., racial and ethnic minority communities, communities with a high proportion of disadvantaged or disabled persons).

The review committee will consist of members of the CHER Institute Leadership Team. Each application will be reviewed by no fewer than two reviewers.

Who are the CHER Institute Faculty?

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities and women, have been selected to serve as CHER Institute Faculty. Some of these faculty members come from institutions with significant NIH support and others come from MSIs leading to a range of experiences and barriers in navigating institutional support.

Together, CHER Institute Faculty have a breadth of research experience in the areas of: health equity, cancer, HIV/AIDS, sexual health within adolescent and ethnic and sexual minority populations, social psychology, applied biostatistics, innovative data collection strategies, and community-based participatory research methods. In each case, faculty members were selected based on their scholarly contributions to their respective specialty focus within the broad fields of public health and health equity. Other faculty members may be recruited based on changing needs and interest in topics over time, and not all faculty members may be present at each week-long Institute.

INSTITUTE FACULTY

INSTITUTION

Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Ph.D., MPH
Associate Dean for Community Initiatives
Professor, Preventative Medicine
The Keck School of Medicine of the
University of Southern California
Roshan Bastani, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management
Co-Director, Center to Eliminate Health Disparities
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research
The Keck School of Medicine of the
University of Southern California
Dorothy C. Browne, Dr.PH
Provost, Bennett College
Professor Emerita, Gillings School of Global Public Health
Bennett College &
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bradley T. Conner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Addiction Counseling
Colorado State University
Laura D’Anna, Dr.PH
Director, Center for Health Equity Research 
Associate Professor, Department of Health Science
California State University, Long Beach
Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., M.S.
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Section of Adolescent Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine
Nina T. Harawa, Ph.D., MPH
Professor
Co-Director, Policy Impact Core at CHIPTS
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, &
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Matthew Mutchler, Ph.D.
Director and Professor, Urban Community Research Center
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Fernando Wagner, D.Sc., MPH
Professor, School of Social Work
University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Thomas Alex Washington, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Social Work
Co-Director, CHER Institute
California State University, Long Beach

For questions about the Institute or application process, please contact: Carol Canjura, Administrative Coordinator carol.canjura@csulb.edu

 

CHER Institute Webinar Series

 

webinar participants animated with CHER Institute logo

The Center for Health Equity Research also hosts a webinar series for research training and professional development, following the first CHER Institute in 2017: now four times annually, with two webinars in Spring and Fall semesters.

Below you will find information on the webinar hosts and topics, and the learning objectives.

2021

Dr. Tanya M. Coakley

Thursday, April 8th, 2021 - 10:00 am to 11:00 pm PDT
Journey to a Successful Career as an Academic and Funded Researcher

Learning objectives:
A compelling journey of pursuing NIH funded research;
Tips for mitigating barriers and challenges to attaining funding as an underrepresented researcher;
Strategies for networking and building a supportive team to achieve your professional goals.

 

Dr. Sonya Arreola

Thursday, April 15th, 2021 - 10:00 am to 11:00 pm PDT
Science with Impact:  Leading Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Addressing the Needs of Marginalized Communities

Learning objectives:
The importance of CBPR for understanding the needs of marginalized communities;
Some best practices for leading CBPR; How to engage marginalized communities in CBPR with purpose (considering COVID-19);
How to disseminate the CBPR findings across multiple mediums to make an impact.
 

2020

Dr. Matt Mutchler

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PDT
Tips for Persisting through the Challenges, Getting Funded and Doing the Science at a Teaching University

Learning objectives:
What is the process from submitting an A0 (first time submission) to an A1 (an edited and resubmitted application)
What are some tips to consider when receiving not so favorable scores on the first submission
How to decide when to resubmit if not funded the first time (and how many times is one allowed to resubmit)
What to consider when addressing the feedback from reviewers’ comments.

Dr. LaRon E. Nelson

Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 10am to 11:00 am PDT
Career Development is Essential: Preparing Yourself to be Successful with the NIH Process

Learning objectives:
Tips for establishing yourself as an expert in your chosen field (e.g., publishing, collaborating)
How to build relationships with established senior researchers with whom to collaborate
The importance of securing opportunities to collect preliminary data to support NIH proposals
The need for engaging students in your research and training.
 

Dr. Willie M. Abel

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 10:00 am to 11:00 pm PDT
What’s So Special About the K Award:  Exploring Mentored Career Development Awards (e.g., K01, K99)

Learning objectives:
What is the purpose and criteria for the different types of K Awards (e.g., K01, K99);
What to include in a successful K Award application;
How can the K Award be beneficial for enhancing your research and career trajectory.
 

Dr. Ronald L.  Braithwaite

Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 10:00 am to 11:00 pm PDT
Navigating the NIH Extramural System: Does Race Matter?

Learning objectives:
Increased knowledge about personal, professional and grantsmanship issues to successfully navigate the NIH extramural system;
Increased knowledge about issues of racial bias as a historical barrier within the NIH system;
Recommendations for early career faculty to consider when preparing to submit applications seeking NIH funding.

2019

 

Dr. Naomi Hall-Byers

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PDT
The Use of the Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Program for Health Disparities Research

Learning objectives:
Understand the purpose of the SC mechanisms (i.e. SC1, SC2, SC3)
Understand the process for applying for SC mechanisms
Understand the expectations and benefits of the SC mechanisms.

Dr. Ronald L. Braithwaite

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PDT
Mentoring Early Career Faculty for the NIH Research Climate and Culture

Learning objectives:
How to identify a senior NIH established researcher as a mentor
The benefits of collaborating with an established NIH researcher
Expectations of a mentor-mentee relationship aiming for a successful research career.

Elizabeth Wu, MPH

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm PDT
The Use of Social Media to Recruit and Engage High Risk Populations in Health Disparities Research

Learning Objectives:
Describe several different recruitment strategies that utilize social media and online engagement
Identify appropriate social media/online strategies based on level of staffing, time, skill, and funds
Identify various social media/online platforms to consider for targeted recruitment efforts.

Jonathon Rendina PhD, MPH

Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PST
Tips for Writing a Compelling NIH Approach Section

Learning Objectives:
Have increased knowledge about the purpose of, and relevant components to include in, the Approach Section
Understand the NIH clinical trial definition, and the level of detail to include in the Approach Section to describe the study’s methods
Have a better understanding of the criteria NIH reviewers use to assess and score the Approach Section.

2018

 

Dr. Ricky Bluthenthal

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PDT
Innovation in NIH Reviews: The Population, Approach, or Both

This event included a video presentation by Dr. Bluthenthal, available to participants 1 week prior to the webinar.
Additional information, and questions from event participants addressed during the 1 hour webinar.

Learning objectives:
Become familiar with the basics of the proposal review process and review criteria
Learn strategies for strengthening the innovation section
Have an opportunity to pose questions to an experienced NIH funded researcher.

Dr. Nina Harawa

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PDT
Developing Effective Culturally Relevant Interventions

Learning objectives:
Describe why is it important to ensure that sexual health interventions are culturally responsive
Discuss how to determine what cultural elements may be most relevant to their intervention targets
Describe how to present culturally relevant elements in a NIH proposal.

Dr. Hugh Klein

Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 10:00 am to 11:30 am PDT
Incorporating Internet-Based Data Collection for Sensitive Topics within Vulnerable Populations

Learning objectives:
What is meant by sensitive subject matter
What is meant by a vulnerable/marginalized population
Tips for writing the approach section of an NIH grant proposal when aiming to include sensitive subject matter with vulnerable populations
Strategies to consider for dispensing an incentive when using internet-based methods, if no face-to-face meetings will occur.

Dr. Bradley Conner

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PST
Why and When to Consider the R03 Mechanism

Learning objectives:
What is the purpose of the R03 Mechanism
What to consider when thinking about applying for an R03
How might the R03 be beneficial for moving my research forward.

2017

Dr. Matt Mutchler

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am PDT
What to Consider for an NIH Proposal to Conduct Qualitative Research.

Learning objectives:
How to connect the qualitative methods section with the data analysis section.

Dr. Roshan Bastani

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm PST
Components of a NIH Application and Review Process

Includes a video presentation by Dr. Bastani available to participants 1 week prior to the webinar.
Additional information, and questions from event participants addressed during the 1 hour webinar.

Learning objectives:
Become familiar with the mechanisms and submission process for NIH research funding applications.
Identify strategies to facilitate the review process.
Have an opportunity to pose questions to an experienced NIH researcher and reviewer.