Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH)


Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) and the NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)

Principal Investigator

Dr. Kim Boggess, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Project Run Dates

9/30/2015 to 7/31/2020



The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) is a mentored career-development program. It connects junior faculty, known as BIRCWH Scholars, to senior faculty with shared research interest in women’s health and sex-differences research. Since the program was created in 2000, 77 grants to 39 institutions supporting more than 542 junior faculty have been awarded by the ORWH and BIRCWH program co-sponsors. The mission of the UNC BIRCWH program is to promote recruitment, retention, and sustained advancement of biomedical careers in women’s health. The program philosophy is based on three central concepts: adaptability, diversity, and excellence. To achieve our mission the UNC BIRCWH program will:

  1.  Provide mentored career development of junior scientists pursing women's health or sex/gender research;
  2.  Create interdisciplinary research teams to enhance women's health research; and
  3.  Facilitate the translation of these research findings to improve community health.

The expectation is that UNC BIRCWH graduates will go on to become the next generation of leaders, teachers, and mentors in women’s health and sex/gender research in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industry. At UNC, research in women’s health is extensive and diverse. UNC BIRCWH mentors represent a multitude of backgrounds, though the following areas of research have been selected for emphasis:

  • Quantitative Pharmacology
  • Nutrition, Obesity, and Diabetes
  • Cancers Affecting Women
  • Mental Health, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse
  • HIV/Sexually Transmitted Diseases

These areas represent contemporary topics in biomedical research and encompass a broad range of topics from basic science to translational and clinical studies, health services, outcomes, and epidemiologic investigation.


UNC BIRCWH website