Collaborative Partnership

UAB and Tuskegee bring a history of collaboration and dedicated effort to eliminate health disparities using their complementary strengths. As a world-renowned research institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers research and infrastructure, including scientists, facilities, and resources. Tuskegee has a rich history of talented researchers and educators dedicated to educational excellence and diversity.

Tuskegee University logo

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

UAB is a comprehensive teaching and research-intensive university with an exceptional academic medical center and health system.

Most of UAB’s research occurs within its six health science schools (Medicine, Dentistry, Health Professions, Nursing, Optometry, and Public Health) and the College of Arts and Sciences, which houses many of UAB’s basic science programs.

UAB’s research infrastructure is strengthened by its network of University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs), which are supported by an institutional investment of nearly $5 million per year to bring investigators from diverse departments together to work on joint projects focused on virtually all major disease research areas.

UAB was recognized as a 2020 Diversity Champion and received a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. As of the fall of 2019, UAB students, faculty, and staff represented over 100 countries and 42.5% of UAB students were from underrepresented groups.

UAB Hill Student Center in Birmingham, Alabama
Group of four women in lab coats walking down a hallway
UAB has over 1200 externally funded investigators
UAB has $638 million in FY2020 research awards
UAB has seen a 107% increase in clinical trial spending
UAB has over 100 countries represented at the institution

Tuskegee University

James H.M. Henderson Hall building on Tuskegee University campus
group of three researchers from Tuskegee University in the lab wearing masks

Tuskegee University, located in Tuskegee, Alabama, is an independent institution with distinctive strengths structured on solid foundations in the liberal arts.

The Tuskegee National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, was established in 1997. It is the nation’s first bioethics center devoted to engaging the sciences, humanities, law, and religious faiths in the exploration of the core moral issues that underlie research and medical treatment of African Americans and other underserved people. Additionally, Tuskegee has established various outreach programs and has developed effective relationships with its surrounding communities.

Tuskegee’s Board of Trustees places research at the top of its goals and recognizes the importance of external research support and its impact on the development of students, faculty, and society. Tuskegee centers of excellence, academic colleges, schools, and other institutional units that participate in research are critical for addressing today’s global needs, including the Center for Biomedical Research (U54 MD007585), part of the NIH Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program.

Tuskegee has about 50% split male (50.4%) and female (49.6%) faculty
82% of faculty identifies as African American at Tuskegee
Tuskegee has $42 million in annual funding which is up 12% from the previous year
Tuskegee has over 3000 students in 5 colleges and 3 schools

Full Institutional Commitment

With support from the Presidents and Provosts of both universities, as well as the Deans and Department Chairs of all participating colleges, schools, and departments, the FIRST Benjamin-Carver Scientist program has the full strength of two universities and the NIH pulling for the success of its members.

The infrastructure and support resources of the program, as well as the larger partnership between both institutions, are the results of careful planning and collaboration among established and early-career scientists. These scientists have worked to identify the common barriers and facilitators of a successful research career. After gathering information, they designed a comprehensive program to amplify the facilitators and eliminate the barriers. In our “What to Expect” section, we outline this comprehensive program that is backed by support from the highest levels of leadership at both institutions.

Commitment to Diversity

Both UAB and Tuskegee are committed to creating an environment of inclusion, fairness, civility, and mutual respect.


UAB has both a university-wide strategic plan, as well as a strategic diversity plan through its Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), with a specific goal to increase recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of faculty and staff from underrepresented populations. This includes proactively attracting, recruiting, supporting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff population who have a voice and agency in helping to shape an institutional culture of inclusive excellence.


At Tuskegee University, we understand that an inclusive and diverse work environment consists of all employees’ unique characteristics, skills, and experiences.  These core values are essential to our mission to educate and train the most skilled and diverse faculty—worldwide. Tuskegee University seeks to engage in strategic partnerships to recruit, retain and promote a vibrant faculty that leverages our history and emerging opportunities.

Funded by the NIH

The FIRST Benjamin-Carver Scientists program is supported by the NIH Common Fund’s Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) program, which aims to enhance and maintain cultures of inclusive excellence in the biomedical research community. By focusing on both recruitment and institutional support for faculty, the goal is for this program to provide evidence-backed strategies that significantly impact inclusive excellence within research environments and ultimately diversify the biomedical research workforce.