Introduction: Diversifying the workforce is an important strategy to reducing health disparities. Since 2007, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Health Disparities Network has funded a travel scholarship to promote inclusion, professional development, and diversity among investigators interested in tobacco-related health disparities research. This study examined indicators of productivity among former scholarship recipients. Methods: Scholarship recipients between 2007 and 2014 were invited to complete a survey online. The survey assessed demographic characteristics, academic productivity, and perceived professional benefit resulting from the scholarship. Results: Of the 117 scholarships recipients, 89 (77%) responded. Respondents were 67% female and had a mean age of 37.8 years. Twenty eight percent were African American, 25% Asian American, and 17% Latino. Most respondents worked in academia (80%) and nearly three-quarters (74%) reported publishing manuscripts on tobacco-related disparities, with a mean of 3.8 (SD 4.4) disparities-related publications since receiving the scholarship. Respondents' work focused on a wide range of health disparities topics and nearly all respondents reported that the scholarship removed barriers to attending the meeting and reported professional benefit from receiving the travel scholarship. Following receipt of the SRNT travel scholarship, a diverse group of scientists demonstrated scholarly productivity, professional development, and advancement of health disparities research. Similar efforts are encouraged in other professional societies. Implications: This study examines the productivity of early career recipients of the SRNT Health Disparities Scholarship. Results suggest that the investment in annual travel scholarships by a professional organization is an important support system for emerging scientists from diverse backgrounds. This investment may help to advance the science of health disparities and engage researchers in an area where there are critical gaps in the research workforce.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health