A career development program for women’s health research

BIRCWH is a career development program for women’s health research. Through financial support, targeted mentorship, and educational programs, we are supporting the next generation of scholars.  

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the UCSF/KPNC BIRCWH program is a collaborative effort of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) Division of Research (DOR), based in Oakland, CA. The history of the program shows that UCSF/KPNC BIRCWH has:

  • well-established biomedical, clinical, and translational research infrastructure and facilities,
  • internationally renowned investigators and outstanding trainees at all stages, and
  • extensive multidisciplinary research resources, including the NIH-funded CTSI with a CTS Training and K Scholars Programs, the UCSF Biomedical Science.

Program Objectives

  • Recruit a superb and diverse group of early career women’s health researchers.
  • Provide these scholars with individually tailored research training and mentoring.
  • Target important yet understudied topics in women’s health.
  • Strengthen and integrate models of multidisciplinary research, developing researchers who foster linkages across disciplines and institutions.
  • Promote the prominience of and resources allocated to women’s health research by mentoring scholars and alumni in academic advancement and leadership.

Program Activities

  • Scholars spend 75% of their time in research career development activities.
  • Together, a scholar and mentorship team develop an individual development plan.
  • Regular program seminars composed of research presentations and discussions are coupled with a series of lectures on key issues in women’s health.
  • Depending on their individual career development needs, BIRCWH scholars may participate in CTSI K program training activities including Training in Clinical Research (TICR), the Program in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) and courses in the responsible conduct of research, grant writing, writing and publishing health sciences research, and training in health policy and economics.

Program Focus Areas and Mentors

The program includes mentors and advisors from 11 of UCSF’s departments and centers, as well as the Kaiser DOR. Focus areas include:

  • Reproductive health across the lifespan
  • Women’s cancers
  • Infectious diseases
  • Social determinants of health
  • Metabolism and bone health
  • Environmental health
  • Mental health, addiction, and cognition

Program Partners