Texas Minority Health, Education, Research, and Outreach (Texas MiHERO) Endowment Program
NIMHD Endowment Program at UNTHSC
Through a 5-year, $10 million award from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), UNTHSC has established the Texas MiHero program. This permanent endowment to the institution is invested and the investment income will be used to support three programs.
- MiHERO PhD Scholars Program to support PhD students
- Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL) program to support junior faculty in grantsmanship and leadership
- Health Education, Awareness and Research in Disparities (HEARD) Scholars program to support recruitment/retention of faculty
History of the NIMHD Endowment Program
Mandated by the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-525), the NIMHD Research Endowment Program (REP) provides funding to the endowments of academic institutions. The funds help institutions build research infrastructure and recruit, train, and maintain a diverse student body and faculty. The endowment program provides annual funding for up to 5 years. Awards are made to institutional endowments; thus, they do not directly fund research projects. Endowment funds must be invested and maintained for 20 years after the award period ends. In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) expanded the eligibility of REP to include institutions of higher education with an active NIMHD Center of Excellence. As a recipient of the NIMHD Specialized Center of Excellence in Health Disparities award, UNTHSC became eligible for the endowment funds.
Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, Ph.D
Pankaj Chaudhary, Ph.D
Sr. Administrative Coordinator
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
For Details Contact: Laura.Gonzalez@unthsc.edu or Pankaj.Chaudhary@unthsc.edu
Frequently Asked Questions about the MiHERO Program
1. Who is eligible to apply and the criteria for MiHERO program?
a) Individuals from underrepresented groups in health professional programs (racial/ethnic groups, disabilities, disadvantaged backgrounds).
b) Individuals with demonstrated interest in diversity and health disparity research.
c) Individuals with commitment to careers in basic, translational, clinical and community-based approaches to minority health and solving health disparities.
2. When will MiHERO program (selection) committee solicit applications from new matriculants?
Selection committee will solicit and recruit applications from new matriculants (Ph.D. Student Pool). The selected student will apply for the MiHERO program at time of matriculation to their graduate/professional programs at UNTHSC.
3. Are Graduate Students eligible? The program is intended for students enrolled in Ph.D programs in Graduate School of biomedical Science (GSBS), School of Public Health (SPH), School of Pharmacy (SCOP), and Medicine (TCOM- and dual DO/Ph.D). Prior to applications, students will have fulfilled all of the admission requirements to their respective Ph.D. programs and be officially admitted to the degree program.
4. When does the recruitment of MiHERO scholars begin and how long does the program support scholars?
Two new MiHERO Ph.D. scholars will be recruited each year of the program. Each MiHERO scholar will be supported for a total of 5 years of the Ph.D. program. During first 18 months, the financial support will be provided by the respective departments/school and the MiHERO program will support the remaining period.
5. What are the research projects and how will the research projects/mentors be implemented?
MiHERO Ph.D. scholars will be placed in the laboratories of faculty members who conduct interdisciplinary health disparity research involving biomedical science, clinical science, or behavioral science based on the interest of the student. The scholars will be given a choice to select 3-to-5 faculty members with which they would like to pursue their research by reviewing the faculty research in minority health and health disparity-related research. Most importantly, the program committee will assign students to laboratories using student choice as the criterion.
6. What if I already have a research mentor in mind?
If you already have a research mentor in mind, then we will work with you to use this program opportunity for the research project.
7. What are the start and end dates?
The start date of the MiHERO program is after matriculation to the degree program at UNTHSC. The MiHERO program support will be till the end of 5 years in the degree program.
8. Are there funds for research?
The Endowment funds are to support infrastructure and personal development. As such, there are no funds for research supplies and equipment.
9. What is the stipend level?
MiHERO fellows will get a stipend amount of $27,000 each year of the program (during the endowment funding period).
10. Do MiHERO scholars get money for tuition, fees, travel, and conferences?
At this time, we have not budgeted for these expenses. As the Endowment Corpus grows, we will expect additional revenue to the program that will be used for these expenses.
11. Can MiHERO awardees get stipend if the Ph.D. program extends beyond 5 years?
It will be decided on individual-to-individual basis. It will be based on the availability of funds and on individual awardees circumstances.
12. Are there funds for research? The Endowment funds are to support infrastructure and personnel development. As such, there are no funds for research supplies and equipment.