The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH, pronounced "BIRCH") is a mentored career-development program. It connects junior faculty, known as BIRCWH Scholars, to senior faculty with shared research interest in women's health and sex-differences research. Since the program was created in 2000, 77 grants to 41 institutions supporting more than 613 junior faculty have been awarded by ORWH and BIRCWH program co-sponsors.
The BIRCWH awards are a trans-NIH collaborative effort. The current round of BIRCWH Programs is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Office of AIDS Research, and the National Institute of Mental Health. ORWH and NIDA provide programmatic oversight for these BIRCWH Programs, and NICHD provides the grants-management oversight for most of the programs.
To be eligible for the BIRCWH Program, junior faculty — men and women — must have recently completed clinical training or postdoctoral fellowship and must plan to conduct interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, and/or health-services research relevant to women's health. Most BIRCWH Scholars move on to obtain independent NIH grant funding following their participation in the BIRCWH Program.