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Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program

The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program is a component of a long term strategy to establish a cadre of biomedical, behavioral, and social science researchers working to reduce the disparate health burdens among underserved populations in the United States and ultimately eliminate those disparities.

The MHIRT awards support the ability of U.S. academic institutions to offer short-term international training opportunities in health disparities research for undergraduate and graduate students in the health professions who are from health disparity populations and/or are underrepresented in basic science, biomedical, clinical, or behavioral health research career fields.

In general, academic institutions sponsor MHIRT programs in an effort to broaden the scientific research experience of students and ensure that participants receive:

  • Training in experimental research design, procedures for analyzing and interpreting data, and the use of current scientific literature;
  • Cultural, linguistic, ethics, and other training pertinent to professionals engaged in scientific and public health research at the foreign site;
  • The opportunity to present written and/or oral presentations of their scientific research experience and results at appropriate academic or professional fora; and
  • Encouragement and mentoring during the remainder of their academic years leading to the completion of degree requirements and possibly pursuit of a career in health disparities research.

Specifically, MHIRT grantees conduct research for at least 10-12 weeks during the summer or one semester during the academic year on a wide variety of diseases and health conditions. The MHIRT Program participants travel to work with international investigators in countries around the world such as Mexico, Uganda, Ghana, Australia, Peru, Spain and South Africa.

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