The Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD) was awarded a five-year research training grant in 2020 by the National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities. Funded by the Office of Behavior and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), this brand-new, cutting-edge program will create a cohort of researchers who can critically address the severe health inequalities in the state through advanced data analytics.
The ARCHD-T32 Program is part of a national network of esteemed universities that are also funded by the OBSSR at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The participating universities are Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at San Diego, University of California at San Francisco, and the University of Washington.
The NIH supported Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Science (TADA-BSSR) T32 program seeks to support the development of a cohort of specialized predoctoral candidates who will possess advanced competencies in data science analytics to apply to an increasingly complex landscape of behavioral and social health-related big data. Our trainees will actively participate with students and mentors from the institutions described in the links below. In addition, program staff from five NIH institutes and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR) will be participating in shared activities to develop state-of-the-art training programs for incorporating advanced analytic techniques into Ph.D. programs in the social sciences.
Meet our Trainees
Antonije Lazic is a Ph.D. student in Health Systems and Services at UAMS’s College of Public Health. His research interests include barriers to access, optimization of clinical resources, and data analytics. Prior to starting his Ph.D., Lazic worked as a graduate assistant conducting Lean Six Sigma research for an academic medical center, where he gained experience in productivity, staffing, simulation, and patient flow.
Matthew Najarian is a Ph.D. student in the Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy Program at UAMS’s College of Pharmacy. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Seattle University and an MPH from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Matthew previously worked for the Center for Health Economics and Policy and was a Graduate Research Fellow. His past areas of research focus on rural and urban insurance utilization and Medicaid Policy. At UAMS, Matthew will join a diverse team researching variations in rural hospitals’ adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring. He will further pursue health disparities in prescription drug utilization with the overarching goal of helping disadvantaged and underprivileged populations across the health care field.
Dominique Dubois is a PhD student at UAMS’s College of Nursing. She joined the ARCHD-T32 program with more than 15 years of experience as a certified nurse midwife who provided pre-natal care to uninsured, low-income Spanish-speaking populations. Dominique’s research interest is focused on racial and ethnic maternal health disparities. Through training in natural language processing and machine learning, she aims to extract data from ‘big data’ sources, such as electronic medical records (EMR), medical claims, and social media, in order to identify adverse maternal health outcome patterns in disadvantaged populations. Dominique’s ultimate career goal is to address maternal health inequities through active research, and to advance the field of Nurse Science through teaching and mentoring future nurse researchers who are interested in data analytics.
Jazmine Denney is a PhD student in Health Systems and Services Research at UAMS’s College of Public Health. She is a graduate of Hendrix College (Conway, Ark.), where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Jazmine’s research interests include examining, through big data sources, the relationship between local poverty levels and healthcare coverage in Arkansas. She is applying her newly learned skills in spatial autocorrelation analysis software to visualize concentrations of poverty levels and health disparities in Arkansas.
Benefits of becoming an ARCHD-T32 Trainee
- Stipends of $25,320 a year, plus tuition scholarships
- Collaboration with a national network of T32 sites
- Access to travel & research funds
- Externship opportunities at collaborating programs
- Advanced training in data analytics and informatics
- Diverse mentorship
- A significant training accomplishment for your CV
How to Apply
If you are enrolled or plan to enroll in one of our participating Ph.D. programs (Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Prevention Research, Health Systems and Services Research, Nursing, or Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy), we’d like to hear from you! PhD students with an interest in disparities research and with the quantitative skills for conducting advanced analytics research are strongly encouraged to apply.
To apply, please email the following materials to our Program Coordinator, Shawna Grisham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Resume or CV
- Transcripts (unofficial)
- GRE test scores (unofficial)
- Letter of Recommendation from PhD Program Director
- Research Statement: see directions below.
Please describe how learning advanced analytics will help you reach a better understanding of healthcare disparities; how you plan to use training in advanced analytics and healthcare disparities in your research goals; and where you would like to see your career in five years following training in the ARCHD-T32 program.
For more information, please contact our Principal Investigators below or the Director of the Ph.D. program in which you are enrolled.
J. Mick Tilford, PhD
Professor and Chair
Health Policy & Management
Jonathan Bona, PhD