HISTORY OF THE MIRT/MHIRT PROGRAM
The MIRT program started in 1994 under an initiative of the Fogarty International Center of the NIH. The Center for Human Growth & Development was one of several institutions across the country that were awarded funding during the first round of competition. From its outset, the Michigan MIRT program (Betsy Lozoff, director) has been oriented towards problems that disproportionately affect the health and development of children in developing countries and poor and minority groups in the U.S. The program is structured entirely around established international projects that relate to disparities in child health and development. Summer 2005 represented the 12th and final year of the MIRT program. In 2005, the CHGD competed for, and was awarded, new funding under the MHIRT program - which was designed to replace MIRT. The successful award of our most recent grant competition extends the program for another 4 years, giving us sustained funding for 20 years.
The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program at the National Institutes of Health was established to: increase the representation of socially or economically disadvantaged groups who have been historically underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral careers; Support the research training of students who will most likely contribute to the elimination of health disparities that exist among disadvantaged populations in the U.S.
GOALS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PROGRAM
To encourage undergraduate, graduate and/or health professions students who are from health disparities populations to pursue advanced degrees and careers in biomedical and behavioral research; and to identify other students with a proven commitment to eliminating health disparities. To enhance research skills, scientific training, career opportunities, international collaborative relationships, and global perspectives of undergraduate, graduate, and/or health professions students who are from health disparities populations or have a proven commitment to the elimination of such disparities. To assist targeted students to participate in U.S. and international faculty collaborative research initiatives. To broaden students' research efforts and scientific training to encompass international perspectives on problems relating to health disparities in the US and in developing countries. To stimulate faculty interaction, collaboration, and novel approaches to address closing the gap in health disparities among children in the US and in developing countries. To facilitate research collaborations, research productivity, and research capacity in developing countries.