The National Conference on Health Disparities Student Research Forum

Marvella E. Ford, Angela M. Malek, Erica Martino, Latecia Abraham-Hilaire, Oluwole Ariyo, Dana Burshell, Gloria Callwood, Laura Campbell, Kimberly Cannady, Courtney Chavis, Brittney Crawford, Andie Edwards, Victoria Findlay, Rita Finley, Chamiere Greenaway, Tonya Hazelton, Monique Hill, Marion Howard, Kendrea D. Knight, Vanessa Lopez-LittletonLloyd Moore, Diandra Randle, David E. Rivers, Judith D. Salley, Terry Seabrook, Sabra Slaughter, James B. Stukes, Roland J. Thorpe, La Verne Ragster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The annual National Conference on Health Disparities (NCHD) was launched in 2000. It unites health professionals, researchers, community leaders, and government officials, and is a catalyzing force in developing policies, research interventions, and programs that address prevention, social determinants, health disparities, and health equity. The NCHD Student Research Forum (SRF) was established in 2011 at the Medical University of South Carolina to build high-quality biomedical research presentation capacity in primarily underrepresented undergraduate and graduate/professional students. This paper describes the unique research training and professional development aspects of the NCHD SRF. These include guidance in abstract development, a webinar on presentation techniques and methods, a vibrant student-centric conference, and professional development workshops on finding a mentor and locating scholarship/fellowship funding, networking, and strategies for handling ethical issues in research with mentors. Between 2011 and 2018, 400 undergraduate and graduate/professional students participated in the NCHD SRF. Most students were women (80.5%). Approximately half were African American or black (52.3%), 18.0% were white, and 21.3% were of Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity. The NCHD SRF is unique in several ways. First, it provides detailed instructions on developing a scientific abstract, including content area examples. Second, it establishes a mandatory pre-conference training webinar demonstrating how to prepare a scientific poster. Third, it works with the research mentors, faculty advisors, department chairs, and deans to help identify potential sources of travel funding for students with accepted abstracts. These features make the NCHD SRF different from many other conferences focused on students’ scientific presentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Conference
  • Health disparities
  • Professional development
  • Underrepresented students
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Oncology


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