From the Urology Care Foundation: The Urology Care Foundation LEADS the Way in Diversity and Inclusion through Research

By: Harris M. Nagler, MD, FACS | Posted on: 01 Jun 2021

The Urology Care Foundation is a driving force in the discovery of new treatments and is committed to ensuring the future of urological health by supporting and improving the prevention, detection and treatment of urological disease through research and education. Each year, the Foundation invests in the brightest minds and the best urology research–research that leads to better treatments and improved quality of life.

The Foundation offers a portfolio of mentored research training awards intended to recruit outstanding young investigators into urology research and foster their career success. In 2020, we awarded nearly $1.5 million in funding through such programs as the Research Scholar Awards, Residency Research Awards, Rising Stars in Urology Research Awards and our Summer Medical Student Fellowships.

We continue to focus on developing resources to make urologic research training more compelling to all young scientists, especially the physician-scientists in underrepresented communities. Our goal is to ensure urological research is strengthened through diversity and inclusion by providing opportunities to ALL.

We recognize the critical need to create and maintain opportunities for all investigators and especially those of underrepresented minorities and understand that the path to developing a strong and sustainable research career is faced with many challenges. Therefore, the Foundation and the AUA took a comprehensive approach to providing research support and announced earlier this year, a new urology research program aimed at fostering diversity and inclusion within urology research, supported by a generous $2 million donation from Urovant Sciences (Urovant).

A comprehensive award program, the Leadership in Education, Achievement and Diversity (LEAD) program will support 3 urology residents, per year, from racial and ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in urological research, to conduct mentored research, engage in research education and be championed through networking, as they develop successful research careers and better serve the urology patient community.

The LEAD program will leverage both the Urology Care Foundation Residency Research Award and the AUA’s existing Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy to engage each young surgeon-scientist in additional mentoring and career development with established urology investigators who are leaders in their field.

In addition to research training and mentoring opportunities, the LEAD program will:

  • Support the participation of its urology residents for 2 years in the AUA Research Honors Program.
  • Support the participation of its urology residents in 2 scientific meetings during their funding year, including the AUA Annual Meeting and another meeting of their choice, based on scientific relevance.
  • Support the participation of its urology residents in 2 AUA Early Career Investigator Workshops, one during their residency and one during the research year of their clinical fellowship.

Applications for the LEAD program will be accepted starting in October and Award recipients will be announced in March 2022, before being recognized at the AUA Annual Meeting in May 2022. We encourage you to learn more about the LEAD program and all the Award support programs the Foundation has to offer by visiting: UrologyHealth.org/Research.

We are excited by this new initiative and look forward to receiving applications from the many qualified applicants we would like to support.

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