BIRCWH K12 Program

BIRCWH – K12 Institutional Career Development Program

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health

About the BIRCWH Career Development Program

The Duke University School of Medicine and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) are recipients of a National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) grant. The BIRCWH program is led by the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), along with nearly a dozen other NIH Institutes and Centers. The BIRCWH is a K12 Institutional Training Grant that provides junior faculty at Duke or NCCU 75% salary support (50% for surgical specialties) for up to $100,000 per year for a minimum of two years. The program provides research development support to pursue research careers related to women's health and builds upon existing interdisciplinary faculty relationships to foster productive and innovative collaborations.

In 2022, our 5-year renewal was awarded, which will lead to 25 years of continued funding for the BIRCWH program.


The purpose of the BIRCWH Faculty Development Program is to promote the career development of junior faculty pursuing interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, and/or health services research relevant to the health of women and, where appropriate, the influence of sex as a biological variable on health and disease.

The BIRCWH also aims to strengthen the Women’s Health Research enterprise at Duke and NCCU. The BIRCWH Program provides advanced training, mentoring and career guidance. BIRCWH research spans the entire spectrum of women’s health topics, and the program is open to all types of clinicians and non-clinicians.

Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent may be sent when there is no open call for applications. Submission of the LOI begins the process and a discussion of your career goals, proposed project, mentor selection, and eligibility with the Program Director. We will contact you to let you know if you are eligible to apply. The LOI should be emailed to the Program Director: Cindy Amundsen, MD at and Program Coordinator: Friederike Jayes at

The LOI must include the following information:

  1. Applicant’s full name
  2. Degree(s) and date(s) awarded (if MD with residency/fellowship, also include when you finished residency/fellowship)
  3. Department, Division, School
  4. Academic rank and position
  5. NIH biosketch
  6. Project title and a two-sentence description of the research project
  7. Brief description of the planned project (1 page max)
  8. Brief description of professional development goals (1 page max)
  9. Proposed mentor(s), at least one from the list of approved mentors



Program Contacts, Leadership and Staff


Dr. Cindy Amundsen

Principal Investigator / Program Director
Cindy Amundsen, MD

Scholars@Duke Bio

Nina Smith, PhD

Site-PI North Carolina Central University
Nina Smith, PhD


Dr. Rebecca Kameny

Career Development Program Specialist
Rebecca Kameny, PhD

Please forward any questions to Dr. Jayes, BIRCWH Program Coordinator.