Post-doctoral fellowship: Promoting equity in cardiovascular health  (2023)

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Postdoctoral fellowships are critical to competing successfully for the best faculty positions in both social work and academic medicine. Additionally, the scientific field has a critical need for scholars from underrepresented groups to advance equity in cardiovascular health.

This innovative post-doctoral program is a collaboration between the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. Social work scholars have a social justice research framework, are grounded in theoretical frameworks, and are exposed to methods to advance health equity and address social determinants of health. On the other hand, medicine and public health are considered less grounded in theory but have strong foundations in biomedical training. Scholars from both backgrounds will benefit from inter-professional education and training with the other discipline.

The postdoctoral training program will recruit and retain promising scholars from underrepresented groups to train and engage them in behavioral, population, and implementation science research to promote equity in heart and lung health. The program will increase the diversity of the pool of highly-trained investigators and foster an environment at UT Austin for inter-professional development in cardiovascular research.

The proposed program will take advantage of the recently established Dell Medical School to enhance graduate-level inter-professional education efforts already underway at UT Austin. The program will involve over 30 mentors in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, Dell Medical School, School of Nursing, the Population Research Center, and the College of Pharmacy. Postdoctoral fellows will further their research training and agendas through formal mentorship, formal coursework, seminars, conferences, and other career development activities.

The program will (1) increase the diversity of the pool of highly-trained researchers prepared for a career in cardiovascular research focused on health equity, (2) further the inter-professional relationships between involved mentors and their respective schools/colleges, and (3) lay the groundwork for successful post-doctoral programs in social work and medicine.