Health Disparities and the Built/Social Environment: Upcoming Harvard Catalyst Workshop Reply

Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical & Translational Science Center

Health Disparities Research Program

Disparities Workshop Announcement

Place Matters: Incorporating Measures of the Built and Social Environment into Disparities Research

TheHarvard Catalyst Health Disparities Research Program is pleased to announce “Place Matters,” a workshop designed to support and encourage disparities-focused gene-environment research.  

Applications due April 1st, via the link below.

Date/Time/Location: Friday April 11, 9:30-11:30am (Minot Room, 5th floor Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St.)

 Workshop Description: Disparities in health and health care are pervasive and persistent.  U.S. society is characterized by longstanding spatial differentiation by race and socioeconomic status; this has led to investigation into the role of “place” as a determinant of health disparities independent of individual attributes.  This workshop will provide an introduction to the concept of place and how to measure the built and social environment.  We will discuss linking individual location data to area-based measures, provide an overview of sources of information about the built environment and the social environment, and provide some key examples.  We will speak briefly about analysis and causal inference.  We will discuss how to incorporate area based measures into an existing project or project proposal.  Participants will receive personalized training and ongoing support as they work to incorporate these methodologies into their grant proposal.  

Target Audience: This workshop will be tailored to individuals who would like to incorporate a novel aim or method into a grant they are currently developing, with a particular interest in supporting faculty writing K-awards, R23s, or R01s.  We seek applicants (1) whose projects under development are already disparities-focused, but where the addition of cutting edge methods could strengthen the grant proposal, OR (2) who are developing a proposal that would be strengthened by the addition of a disparities-focused Aim.  The workshop will be kept to approximately 10 individuals in order to allow for individual attention and support.  Participants will be selected based on judgment by a faculty committee of the Harvard Gene, Environment, and Disparities Research Initiative (a project of theHarvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities) regarding the potential success of the proposal in development.  


  • Francine Laden, ScD (Mark and Catherine Winkler Assoc Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, HSPH)
  • Jennifer Haas, MD (Professor, Department of Medicine, HMS)
  • Peter James, ScD (Postdoctoral Fellow, HSPH)

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