Addressing Health Disparities Among Oklahoma Minority and Rural Communities Through Clinical Research Education and Career Development

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Phase I Application deadline: May 17, 2021

Principal Investigators: Stavros Stavrakis, MD, and Courtney Houchen, MD

Program Goal:

Facilitate the education of participants from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research to pursue clinical research, translational and/or patient-oriented research, or population health research, particularly on diseases that disproportionately impact minority, rural, and health disparity populations.

Learn more about the program:

Eligible Program Participants

  • Post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty, within seven years of their first faculty appointment, who aim to become productive, independent clinical or population health research investigators in the areas of minority health, rural health, and health disparities research
  • Members of diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented in biomedical research. Racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders Individuals with disabilities
  • Must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Preference is given to applicants with a clinical doctoral degree, including, but not limited to, an M.D., D.D.S., D.O., O.D., N.D., Pharm.D., Doctorate of Nursing, Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Doctorate of Occupational Therapy, Doctorate of Rehabilitation, or D.V.M. Individuals with a Ph.D. may also apply—Ph.D. with clinical responsibilities or a focus on clinical or population health research
  • Phase II applicants must have completed Phase I or equivalent training and must meet the NIH definition of Early Stage Investigator. An Early Stage Investigator is a new investigator who has completed their terminal research degree or residency—whichever date is later—within the past ten years and has not yet competed successfully for a substantial, NIH research grant

Program Training Phases

Phase I

Phase I trainees will receive 50% salary support to complete the MS in Clinical and Translational Science degree program, including completing a thesis research project. Trainees will be mentored by an interdisciplinary team of faculty researchers.

  • Didactic program courses for skill development in clinical and population health research
  • Earn a Master of Science degree in Clinical and Translational Science
  • Complete a thesis research project focused on health issues in underserved populations
  • Funding for up to two years
  • Application deadline: posted on a rolling basis depending on position openings (contact Stavros Stavrakis at for additional information)
Phase II

Scholars will receive 75% salary support. A three-year plan will be developed with guidance from a mentoring team that will include training in scientific writing and grant writing as well as training in the responsible conduct of research. The development plan will result in research products necessary to support a career development award or R series award application in the second or third year of the appointment.

  • Mentored research experience
  • Funding for up to three years
  • Application deadline: posted on a rolling basis depending on position openings (contact Stavros Stavrakis at for additional information)


Phase I

Funding (annual funding for two years)

  • 50% protected time (salary+fringe)
  • Tuition and fees (up to 33 credit hours over the two-year program)
  • $1250 travel funds
  • $5000 in research funds
  • $2500 mentor’s research expenses
Phase II

Funding (annual funding for up to three years) 

  • 75% protected time (salary+fringe)
  • $1250 travel funds
  • $5000 in research funds
  • $2500 mentor’s research expenses
Up to two trainees will be funded at any single time in the program.


Application Materials

Phase I

The application will include an official transcript from all prior universities attended, a completed OUHSC Graduate College application, three letters of recommendation, a one-page statement of career goals indicating how the MS in CTS will advance the career of the applicant, a two-page research proposal for the thesis project, the primary mentor’s NIH biosketch, and a current CV for the applicant.

Initiate a Phase I program application here:

CRECD Phase I Application

Phase I Program Application Summary

Phase II

The application will include a summary of career goals and research interests along with a research proposal and planned timeline for a career development or R-series award application. In addition, a letter of support must be included from the proposed primary mentor and the department chair or section chief agreeing to the time commitment required for the CRECD program.

The CRECD Advisory Committee will review the applications. The top four applicants will be invited to deliver a 30-minute oral presentation of their research goals, interests, and career development plans.

Initiate a Phase II program application here:

CRECD Phase II Application

Phase II Program Application Summary

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact:

Stavros Stavrakis, MD Program Co-Director Email:
Carla Shackelford Program Coordinator 405-271-8001 Ext. 48833 (Direct Line) Email:


Acknowledgment: This education and career development program is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R25MD011564 and 1 U54GM104938. The content is solely the responsibility of the program directors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.