Grant invites diversity

Grant provides new opportunities to a new and diverse class of young scientists

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Through a generous $2 million grant from Urovant Sciences, the American Urological Association (AUA) and Urology Care Foundation launched a program to assist researchers from underrepresented backgrounds gain success in the field of urology. The goal of this grant is to provide new opportunities to a new and diverse class of young scientists.

Specifically, the grant will fund the new, Leadership in Education, Achievement and Diversity (LEAD) program. Each year, LEAD will support three urology residents from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds to conduct mentored research, engage in research education and receive mentorship and guidance through valuable networking as they develop successful research careers and better serve the urology patient community.

“There’s a shortfall in both urology physicians and physician scientists in underserved populations,” said Urovant Sciences President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Robinson. “The more ideas you can generate, the greater the opportunity for innovation. It’s about creating the right environment.”

LEAD will leverage the Foundation’s Residency Research Award and AUA’s Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training Academy to engage each young surgeon-scientist in additional mentoring and career development training with established urology investigators who are leaders in their field. Such resources expose residents to a research career path and experience that enables them to become independent investigators. An early commitment to research also has the potential to address the critical and increasing shortfall of urology surgeon-scientists, especially from underrepresented backgrounds, and to play a key role in improving patients’ lives.

“We are so proud of this innovative new program, which was conceived as a means for developing talented researchers from diverse backgrounds so they can be part of our next generation of urology researchers,” said Harris M. Nagler, MD, president of the Urology Care Foundation. “Diversity and inclusion enrich our organization, our research, our society and our ability to eliminate disparities in health care.”

In addition to research training and mentoring opportunities, the LEAD program will support urology residents for two years in the AUA Research Honors Program; fund attendance to two scientific meetings, including the AUA Annual Meeting and another meeting of their choice, based on scientific relevance; and support attendance at two AUA Early Career Investigator Workshops, one during an awardee’s residency and one during the research year of their clinical fellowship.

LEAD applications will be accepted starting October 2021, with more information available on the AUA and Urology Care Foundation websites. Award recipients will be announced in March 2022 and recognized at the AUA Annual Meeting in May 2022. 

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