health disparities; health equity; minority serving institutions; faculty research capacity; research infrastructure


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Education Policy | Infrastructure | Other Public Health | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Public Health Education and Promotion


Developing a well-trained workforce interested in, and prepared for, conducting health equity research is an important national priority. Scientists from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) bring unique perspectives and experiences with racial, ethnic and social inequities in health and health status but often lack access to training and mentoring opportunities, which is crucial for increasing the diverse pool of investigators who are adequately prepared to conduct health disparities research and to compete for National Institutes of Health research funding. The focus of the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Project was to: (a) enhance CSULB’s infrastructure and research capacity, (b) conduct applied community health research on health conditions disproportionately affecting disadvantaged populations, and (c) support faculty to embark on careers in reducing health disparities. Faculty received training, mentorship, and release time support to participate in research-related activities. Select faculty also received funding to conduct a two-year health disparities research project. Within a relatively short period of time, the RIMI Project made important strides toward strengthening the research infrastructure at CSULB by enhancing faculty capacity, improving research utilization to address health disparities, and strengthening campus and community collaborations. MSIs are encouraged to apply for opportunities to build their institution’s research capacity. The lessons learned from this project may be used as a guide for other teaching institutions that have the goal to develop minority faculty researchers.