Ritu Banga Healthcare Disparities Research Awards

Request for Proposals

2 - 4 awards per category

Applications due December 17, 2021 at 11:59PM

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Program Summary:

Dean Augustine M.K. Choi and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are pleased to announce the fifth round of funding for the Ritu Banga Healthcare Disparities Research Awards. Previously named the Dean’s Diversity and Healthcare Disparity Research Awards, they are now generously endowed by Ritu and Board Fellow Ajay Banga, ensuring their place at our institution for decades to come.  The awards will support excellence in research to improve the health of women and underrepresented minorities and/or to reduce health disparities in healthcare systems and in clinical settings, either locally or globally. Research into improving the diversity and gender balance of the biomedical workforce will also be supported, as lack of a representative workforce can be linked to health disparities and we must move the needle and better confront inequality.

The awards are designed to further Weill Cornell Medicine’s goal of becoming a national leader in advancing diversity, inclusion, and gender equity within academic medicine. We seek proposals for basic, translational, clinical, informatics, or outcomes research that addresses health disparity areas including, but not limited to: race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, differing standards of healthcare, insurance status, age, geography, sexual orientation, and cultural beliefs. Projects that enhance the diversity pipeline either through research or the inclusion of diverse personnel are encouraged.

The Ritu Banga Healthcare Disparities Research Awards will provide funding for one year and will be available at two levels:

  • Faculty (4 awards) - $50,000 each
  • Fellows and Postdoctoral Associates (2 awards) - $50,000 each

Awardees may be required to present their research projects the year following their completion during Weill Cornell Medicine’s Diversity Week.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be full-time faculty, fellows, or postdoctoral associates at Weill Cornell Medicine, or full-time fellows at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
  • Faculty applicants must be Instructors, Assistant Professors, and Associate Professors with a primary appointment at Weill Cornell Medicine.
  • Pairing with more senior faculty members to provide mentorship/guidance will be permitted, however, the grant must be to the junior member and a clear indication of how the project will enhance the development of an independent career for the more junior member will be required.
  • Departmental commitment to the retention/faculty development of junior applicants is required.
  • Applicants must be able to complete the proposed work within 1 year or before they leave NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center (whichever comes first).
  • Applicants must have a well-developed feasible, significant, and innovative research plan focused on diversity, women’s health, diseases that disproportionately affect diverse communities, or the reduction of health disparities.
  • A salary cap will be imposed on all project budgets; the funds allocated to the PI’s salary and fringe benefits may not exceed 25 percent of the total budget.
  • Salary rebudgeting post-award is not allowed.


Announcement of award recipients will be made in the late winter/early spring of 2022. Awardees are expected to attend the “Celebration of Diversity” to receive their awards.

The celebration will be scheduled during Diversity Week, April 25th – April 29th, 2022.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065