Early Career Investigator Small Grants Program

WHGE COE Early Career Investigator Small Grants Program

To support mentored research for early career investigators from historically underrepresented groups and their graduate students

The WHGE COE Early Career Investigator Small Grants Program for Historically Underrepresented Groups will provide up to $5,000 to support early career investigators and their graduate students working on/starting up novel research projects related to women’s health, gender and empowerment. This program will fund up to three awards to early career investigators from underrepresented groups and their graduate students on any of the 10 University of California campuses and UC Hastings College of the Law.

Small Grants will be made to Early Career Investigators up to $5,000 each and will support mentored research with a graduate student. Funds can also be used for any costs that are not covered by other funding sources, including investigator or student effort, conferences, or research costs.  The applicant must be mentoring or have plans to mentor a graduate student, but the graduate student does not need to be identified at the time of application.  

Awardee Requirements

  • Early career investigator (i.e., Assistant Professor, Research Scientist, Postdoctoral Researcher) from historically underrepresented groups at any University of California campus, including UC Hastings College of the Law
  • We encourage applications from investigators of historically underrepresented groups (such as Black/African American, Chicano(a)/Latino(a)/Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian).
  • Research activities must focus on a research topic related to women’s health, gender, and/or empowerment
  • Final outcomes must include a published paper, a submitted grant proposal, or other product that supports career development, in addition to a two-minute video highlighting key milestones upon project completion.
    • Acknowledge the support of the University of California Global Health Institute’s (UCGHI) Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise (WHGE COE) in all publications resulting from the funding
  • Fully comply with university’s Institutional Review Board requirements if work involves human subjects
  • Awardees will become members of WHGE COE by being added to the WHGE COE email listserv where events and other opportunities for engagement and networking are shared.
  • Present research findings via an oral presentation in one WHGE COE webinar series or at WHGE COE annual retreat

Benefit to Awardee

The WHGE COE acknowledges that early career investigators are often overburdened with requests for service and mentorship and at the same time, are focused on getting tenure. The WHGE COE hopes this funding will support early career investigators’ research and facilitate the ability to mentor. Additional benefits for applicants include:

  • Connection to WHGE COE colleagues across the UC system
  • Opportunity to present your work to the WHGE COE in a work-in-progress meeting for feedback
  • Opportunities to learn about and engage with international colleagues doing related work


The COE will release a call for applications on December 18, 2020 with a deadline of January 31, 2021. The Review Committee will consist of leadership of the WHGE COE and the UCGHI Black Lives Matter Task Force.  Awards will be announced March 1, 2021.  The project is expected to be completed by May 31, 2022.

Application Process

Proposals must align with the WHGE COE’s mission to promote research, education and community engagement both globally and locally to reduce gender and health inequities, with an emphasis on intersectional approaches to address social inequities. Proposals must be submitted by the early career investigator applicant.

To apply, applicants will submit a proposal via email to COE Coordinator, Stephanie Sumstine (SSumstine@mednet.ucla.edu) with the following:

  • Brief proposal outlining research activities, justification for funding need, and description of the mentor-mentee relationship (2 pages)
  • Faculty member CV
  • Budget with explanation of budget items (please use budget template)
    • Budget justification must identify other funding sources for the proposed work by providing the following information: title of proposal, funding agency, budget periods (dates), amount received, and how the proposed WHGE COE funds will be used to support the project.

About the UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI)

UCGHI is a UC-wide initiative that stimulates, nurtures, and promotes global health research, education, and collaboration to advance health in California and worldwide.

UCGHI receives core support from the University of California.  Research and educational projects are supported with extramural funds. UCGHI is located within University of California Health (UCH) at UCOP and reports to Executive Vice President for Health, Carrie Byington MD.  UC Health comprises 6 academic health centers, 20 health professional schools, the UC Global Health Institute and systemwide services that improve the health of patients and the University’s students, faculty and employees. 

UCGHI leverages the diverse and multidisciplinary expertise across the UC system to revolutionize the training of future global health leaders and accelerate the discovery and implementation of transformative global health solutions. We believe that forging a transdisciplinary approach with equitable partnerships with our global and local collaborators and communities has the greatest chance of ensuring sustained success. UCGHI tackles the root causes of global health disparities: gender inequity, poverty, food and water insecurity, and declining planetary health resulting from environmental degradation, pollution and climate change. 

About the WHGE COE

The UCGHI Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment Center of Expertise (WHGE COE) has a vision of a world in which equitable gender norms among all people lead to healthy and empowered lives. The WHGE COE conducts innovative research, training, and community engagement both globally and locally to reduce gender and health inequities and promote public health and well-being. The WHGE COE is comprised of approximately 450 faculty, staff, students, and fellows from 11 University of California campuses, and our philanthropic and programmatic partners, whose work focuses on empowerment, gender and health.

For more information, please contact
Stephanie Sumstine (Ssumstine@mednet.ucla.edu)

Application Deadline: 
January 31, 2021