Promoting & Increasing Diversity through Strategic Faculty Recruitments in Broad Areas of Health Disparities Research

The Opportunity

Through a multi-year NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Cohort program grant, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)/Tuskegee University (TU) Benjamin-Carver FIRST Scientists Program was established to create systemic and sustainable culture change to further support inclusive excellence in research at both institutions. Both institutions are committed to building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to inclusive excellence. Diverse faculty will be hired in clusters of 3-4 annually.  The cluster hiring approach fosters the formation of faculty peer groups who receive both individual and group-based institutional support including mentoring, career advocacy, and guidance within the campus research enterprise.

These new faculty will be designated as Benjamin-Carver Scientists in honor of two barrier-breaking leaders — Regina Benjamin, MD (an Alabama native and UAB graduate who focused her biomedical career on health disparities by serving first in rural Alabama and later as US Surgeon General) and George Washington Carver (a scientist and inventor who developed hundreds of products while at TU).

Through this joint program, UAB and TU will recruit a diverse cohort of 12 post-doctoral scholars and/or early-career faculty into tenure-track research faculty positions, with primary appointments at either UAB or TU and joint appointments at both institutions. In particular, UAB and TU are seeking candidates: a) who have a strong health disparities focus to their research, b) who are responsive to needs/opportunities and program requirements, c) who are well-qualified, d) who have a strong record of promoting diversity and inclusive excellence, and e) whose research interests align with the proposed research areas.

Successful applicants will have demonstrated evidence of a promising research career in one of the following research areas: Cancer, Obesity & Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Neuroscience. We are interested in candidates who also have demonstrated interest in understanding and addressing health disparities as well as strong commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The FIRST Cohort program aims to transform culture at two types of NIH-funded extramural institutions by building a self-reinforcing community of scientists committed to inclusive excellence, through recruitment of a diverse group of individuals who:

  1. are competitive for an advertised research tenure-track or equivalent faculty position (positions must be at the Assistant Professor (or equivalent) level,
  2. meet the criteria for NIH-defined Early Stage Investigators, and
  3. have demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence.

Any individual who meets all of these criteria is eligible to be hired for FIRST faculty positions.

New faculty hires resulting from this program will be surrounded by a comprehensive support infrastructure including sponsors, mentors, career coaches, institutional research navigators, and professional development opportunities to help them mitigate the difficulties often experienced by early-career faculty and accelerate the development of their research careers.

Ready to apply?

For those interested in UAB and/or TU, email Josh Carter, Ph.D., Executive Director for Strategic Leadership Recruitment at for further information. For those interested solely in a position at Tuskegee University, email for further information.

Review of applications will continue until all positions are filled.

For an easy application process, below is a checklist to ensure you have everything you need to get started.


  • Applicants should be post-doctoral scholars or early-career faculty
    • Obtaining a faculty appointment at UAB or TU prior to applying to FIRST is not required. Selected applicants are recruited into a tenure-track research faculty position.
  • Conduct research with a strong focus on health disparities in one of the following areas:
    • Cancer
    • Obesity and Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Neuroscience
  • Have a record of promoting diversity and inclusive excellence

Materials Needed

  • Upload Curriculum Vitae
  • Submit a one-page letter of interest
  • Send a statement of diversity that outlines the candidate’s efforts/experience at promoting diversity and inclusive excellence
    • This statement will be heavily weighted during the selection process.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from veterans and individuals with disabilities.

A pre-employment background investigation is performed on candidates selected for employment. In addition, physicians and other clinical faculty candidates who will be employed by the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation (UAHSF) or other UAB Medicine entities must successfully complete a pre-employment drug and nicotine screen to be hired.