About the Center


To advance equity and thwart bias and racism in research across the research enterprise, Duke Health, regionally, and nationally.


  • Provide infrastructure support for research teams, and the CTSI Pillars and Cores to promote equity, anti-bias and anti-racism across all aspects of the research spectrum, process, and environment.

  • Shift the research culture toward proactive and robust planning and execution of diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA) strategies in clinical and translational science.

The Duke CTSI Center for Equity in Research, established in early 2021, is addressing the profound challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial reckoning that unfolded during the summer of 2020. These challenges highlighted, among many things, a common thread around equity in health and research that has been a CTSI priority for years.

Our vision is to provide leadership, guidance, and resources to improve equity and thwart bias and racism in research. The Center will operationalize CTSI’s longitudinal strategy to fully integrate equity at every level. This strategy applies an equity lens to existing services and infrastructure and will evolve as new initiatives and projects are launched and expanded.

Guiding Framework

The work of EIR is guided by The 5Ws of Racial Equity in Research: A Framework for Applying a Racial Equity Lens Throughout the Research Process. The 5Ws of Racial Equity in Research framework employs the septem circumstantiae, or Who, What, When, Where, and Why, to offer clear and relatable guidance (the how) for fostering racial equity in research methodologies and within the research community, serving as a guiding framework.

5Ws of Racial Equity in Research Framework; Who benefits? Whoi is harmed? Who is excluded?Who makes decisions? Who do systems prioritize? Who is made comfortable? Who is cited? Who is called an expert? Who can lead research?; Why is this project relevant? Why use this approach? Why should someone want to be involved? Why this research topic? Why this group of interest? Why you? Why not you?; When did it become a priority? When do research activities occur? When is waiting acceptable, and for whom? What resources? What is the access? What values are prioritized? What languages are excluded? What are the accommodations? What variables are used or excluded? Where does power sit? Where do you have to go? Where are resources shared? Where are findings shared? Where is this research going? Where does the money go?