Key Focus Areas

Consultations. EIR provides consultation services for researchers, research teams, community partners, health system stakeholders, and staff within various CTSA pillars. These one-time sessions offer guidance for proactively integrating equity into specific research, population health, community health, and healthcare quality improvement projects. As an additional service to researchers, consultations may include key material reviews to ensure research documents reflect equity-based values.

Presentations. EIR faculty and staff are frequently asked to share their expertise through local and national presentations. Presentation topics include racism, anti-racism, anti-bias, health disparities, health equity, community and stakeholder engagement, and promoting equity in clinical and translational research. Recent high-impact presentations include:

Ongoing Thought Leadership. EIR provides ongoing thought leadership on local, regional, and national levels. Our team provides direct support for large and/or complex efforts in need of equity expertise during multiple project phases or over an extended period of time. Examples include:

  • Advising over the life of a funded project

  • Representation on local, regional, and national equity, anti-racism, and anti-bias councils and advisory boards

  • Providing guidance to national organizations who seek to add equity into their research portfolios

  • Contributing to the development of institutional strategic plans such as Moments to Movement

  • Working with human resources to address bias in faculty searches and research staff hiring practices

Submit an EIR Intake and Consultation Request Form to request a consultation, presentation, or ongoing thought leadership.

Resource Repository. EIR currently manages and maintains a repository of research equity resources to support researchers in the development, implementation, and execution of equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, and anti-biased clinical and translational research. Content, which is developed both internally and externally, includes high-impact research publications, 1-pagers, quick guides, webpage links, videos, audio segments, book chapters, and other creative media.

EIR develops and/or sponsors innovative educational opportunities and curricula that promote anti-racism, anti-bias, and equity in research. Our active and growing training portfolio includes:

Duke CTSI, Duke University School of Medicine, and Duke University Health System together have launched a new initiative aimed at achieving equitable representation in clinical research.

The initiative, “Changing the Face of Clinical Research at Duke Through Community Outreach and Engagement,” is supported by a $2.65 million grant to the School of Medicine from The Duke Endowment. The funding will be used to support community engagement programs and practices aimed at addressing barriers to research participation, increasing diversity in clinical research, building community trust, and reducing health disparities.

The community will play a central role in shaping and leading the work of this initiative. A key project is to develop a Community Based Research Network (CBRN), which will engage community-based clinics, primary care organizations, and Durham Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals. The network will be used to solicit feedback on major barriers to achieving equitable health outcomes and to facilitate increased diverse participation in clinical research.

Duke plans to convene a Community Advisory Council to provide insights, guidance, and to co-develop outreach efforts to reach diverse populations in the region. Partners such as North Carolina Central University, LATIN-19, the African American COVID Taskforce Plus (AACT+), faith leadership networks, and others representing perspectives, experiences, and knowledge from across Durham and surrounding counties will be engaged in planning high-impact outreach activities.

EIR builds and maintains partnerships for the advancement of equity, anti-racism and anti-bias in research. Key activities of these partnerships include 1) identifying equity issues that impact the research workforce and research practices, 2) raising awareness about racism, bias, and research inequities through education and advocacy and 3) building capacity to influence local, regional, and national policy. The latter includes building infrastructure for cross-institutional collaboration, strengthened government relations, and multidisciplinary think tanks to advance equity, anti-racism and anti-bias in research.

Our partners include the Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation; City of Durham Equitable Community Engagement Team; Men of Head Start; Duke/UNC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Duke Office of Civic Engagement; Duke Office of Clinical Research (DOCR); Duke Social Science Institute (SSRI); Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity); Duke CTSI Recruitment and Innovation Center (RIC); the Duke CTSI Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERI); the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University; North Carolina Central University (NCCU); and Durham Technical Community College (Durham Tech).

Recent efforts to identify equity issues have resulted in Duke University’s adoption of a new Institutional Climate Survey.

EIR leads and collaborates on health disparities and health equity research projects that have policy-relevant implications. Current areas of interest include:

  • Racial and ethnic disparities in clinical research participation

  • Health system distrust

  • Differences in patient experience by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity

  • Strategies for promoting equity in the research workforce