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
Melanie Boyd is a doctoral student in the Health Systems and Services Research program at UAMS’s Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. She graduated with a master’s degree in mathematical sciences with an emphasis in applied statistics from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Her research interests include Causal analysis/Quasi-experimental studies, children/youths’ health, women’s health, LGBTQ+ studies, and access to care. Her goal is to have greater exposure to practice causal inference techniques such as quasi-experimental design study methods and machine learning.
Roberto Bravo is a doctoral student in the Health Systems and Services Research program at UAMS’s Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. He graduated with a master’s degree in public health at Claremont Graduate University. Roberto previously worked as a research analyst where his work centered in South-Central Los Angeles, which historically has been a neighborhood of disinvestment and disinterest. His research interests are associated infections, caregiver roles, and mixed methods research. His goals are to develop skills in advanced analytical methods and combine his experience with qualitative methods to establish a more relatable and well-rounded story of health disparities. It is through a mixed methods approach to disparities research that he desires to carry forward in his professional career as a researcher in long-term care and caregiver burden.
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.
Bhatool Khattab is a doctoral student in the Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy program at UAMS’s College of Pharmacy. She graduated with a master’s degree in public health/epidemiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Batool previously worked as a Graduate Assistant Fellow for the Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations (CEESP). Her research interest includes cancer, disability populations, and informal caregivers. Her goal is to use advanced analytical methods to help aid in reducing the barriers of healthcare disparities.
Antonije Lazic is a Ph.D. candidate in Health Systems and Services Research at UAMS’s Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH). His research interests include barriers to access, optimization of clinical resources, disparities-based research, and data analytics. Antonije has worked on several projects related to these themes, including studying the associations of copayments with healthcare utilization and expenditures among those with substance abuse, identifying racial disparities in chronic disease management via unsupervised clustering, and using the All Payer Claims Database to examine the relationship between insurance providers and high-cost cancer treatment. His research findings have helped identify disparities in care among vulnerable populations.
Benefits of becoming an ARCHD-T32 Trainee
- Stipends of $30,000 a year
- 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.
Scholarships and Assistantships
A limited number of research assistantships for the PhD in HBHE are available on a competitive basis for qualified students that cover tuition and up to $30,000 a year in stipends for up to three years.
We also offer a pre-doctoral scholarship (ARCHD-T32) for students with an interest in health disparities research and advanced data analytics. This four-year program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities, and includes an annual stipend and tuition discounts. To learn more about this program, visit our ARCHD-T32 web page, or contact Mick Tilford, Ph.D., at TilfordMickJ@uams.edu.
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