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The Connell-Jones Endowed Chair Diversity Research Scholars Program (DRS)

The Connell-Jones Endowed Chair Diversity Research Scholars Program (DRS) was established by the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at Massachusetts General Hospital to support, educate and mentor culturally diverse nurses who are interested in research related to health equity and health disparities.  Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, access to health care, and quality of life experienced by some patients due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, employment status, geographic location or a variety of other factors.  Disparities have been linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, infant mortality, stroke, cognitive impairment and asthma, and can significantly shorten life expectancy.

Unequal Treatment, a landmark report from the Institutes of Medicine in 2004 highlighted the importance of a diverse healthcare workforce in eliminating health disparities, as evidence has shown that diversity improves access to care for racial and ethnic minority patients and leads to greater patient choice and satisfaction, among other benefits.
The goal of the DRS program is to increase the numbers of culturally diverse nurses who will actively consider research as part of their career path.  Dr. Gaurdia Banister, the Director of the program stated, “our goal is to inspire clinical nurses to consider conducting research and raising clinical questions that help address the needs of diverse patient populations.”

Program Details

The DRS program is open to bachelor’s or master’s prepared nurses who identify as Latino/Hispanic, African American/Black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or Native Alaskan. Candidates have two years of nursing experience, be employed as a nurse at Mass General or a Mass General entity and have leadership endorsement.

The program consists of an eight-week didactic session where scholars learn about the role of nurse scientists and the basics of the research process. Topics include identifying funding sources, conducting a literature search, study methodology, disseminating research results and more. Scholars take a deeper dive into health disparities and social determinants of health, learning more about the negative impact that disparities have on patient wellbeing, what resources are available to help mitigate them, and how nursing research can be used to identify and eliminate disparities. Each scholar collaborates with an academic mentor on a research project related to health disparities.

The Connell-Jones Endowed Chair Diversity Research Scholars Program (DRS)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
General Questions

What is the goal of DRS?

The goal of the DRS program is to support, educate and expose MGH Registered Nurses to enhance culturally diverse bachelors and masters prepared nurses with an interest in nursing research through an 8-week summer nursing research immersion program.

What distinguishes DRS from other nursing research programs?

The DRS is unique for many reasons, specifically, it provides:

  • A structured program curriculum that includes:
    • Weekly faculty-led nursing research focused didactic lectures by local and national diverse nurse researchers
    • Mentoring from diverse nurse researchers and exposure to various levels of nursing research
  • Individualized mentorship, guiding scholars toward a career in nursing research
  • Strengthened knowledge about the conduct of research through participation in educational learning experiences and course offered internally and externally
  • Increased professional partnerships and collaborations across MGH and academic institutions with diverse nurse scientists
  • Dedicated funding for participation (buy out of 10 hours/ week during the program) for the 8-week immersion
  • An incredible experience and opportunity


Who is eligible?

  • Members if an underrepresented group as identified by the National Institute of Health (NIH) include:
    • Latino/Hispanic
    • African American/Black
    •  Asian
    • American Indian
    • Native Hawaiian and Alaskan Natives
  • Licensed as a registered nurse with a BSN or MSN and at least two years of nursing experience
  • Employed as a nurse at MGH (for at least one year) and in good standing

Can a non-US citizen apply?

Eligibility requires applicants to be US citizens or permanent residents

Is prior nursing research nursing required?

No previous research is required for acceptance in the DRS program.

What are the qualities that make a candidate successful in the DRS program?

  • Scholars that follow and comply with all the application requirements and eligibility criteria. Please review them closely
  • Scholars who are looking for an opportunity to show their interest in nursing research and health disparities
  • Scholars who are professional, punctual and can participate fully in all aspects of the program

Application Process

How do I apply?

Apply online by clicking here DRS 2023.  Make sure you answer all the questions on the profile part as all the question are mandatory to be considered for the program.

What documentation is needed to apply?

To have a completed application you will need the following:

  • Upload a resume/CV
  • Upload a narrative (at least 2 pages) that describes:
    • your interest in nursing research
    • proposed research area of interest (i.e. population such as pediatrics, adult health, geriatrics,
  • Upload director/manager endorsement form
  • Must be a MGH full time or part time (greater than 20 hours) employee (temporary or per diem not supported for this program)

Program Details

Where can I find more information about the DRS program?

Contact Julie Goldman, RN at jgoldman2@partners.org for more information or questions about the program

Do I need to attend the full eight weeks?

Yes, the eight weeks are mandatory.  Prior to the start of the program, we will have at least one meeting with director/managers, faculty, and scholars to outline expectations and provide a program overview.

What will be included in the eight week/10 hours per week immersion?

During the program you are expected to participate:

  • In the didactic sessions, held every Wednesday (9am-11am and 1pm-3pm)
  • connect weekly with your assigned diverse nurse researcher mentor
  • Prticipate in discussions and research work
  • The opportunity to collaborate and join Summer Research Trainee Program (SRTP) participants and faculty for research programming


updated 1/26/2023

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