Program Description

The Centers of Excellence (COE) program assists eligible schools in supporting programs of excellence in health professions education for underrepresented minority (URM) individuals. The COE program is a catalyst for institutionalizing a commitment to URM students/faculty and to serve as a national resource and educational center for diversity and minority health issues. Additionally, the COE program will help to strengthen the national capacity to produce a culturally competent healthcare workforce whose diversity is representative of the United States population.

General Program Requirements

Health professions schools awarded a COE grant must use funds to offer programming that will:

  1. Increase the competitive applicant pool for health professions schools;
  2. Expand programs to enhance URM student academic performance;
  3. Improve recruitment, training and retention of URM faculty;
  4. Improve information resources curriculum, clinical education and cultural competency of graduates as it relates to minority health issues;
  5. Facilitate faculty and student research on health issues affecting URM groups;
  6. Engage students in practice-based training in community-based settings serving significant numbers of URM individuals; and
  7. Provide stipends, as appropriate.

There are four categories of COEs, including:

  • Native American COE Program: To be eligible for designation as a Native American COE, the designated health professions school involved must meet the following conditions with respect to Native Americans:
    1. have a significant number of Native American individuals enrolled in the schools;
    2. have been effective in assisting Native American students of the schools to complete the program of education and receive the degree involved;
    3. have been effective in recruiting Native American individuals to enroll in and graduate from the school, including providing scholarships and other financial assistance to such individuals and encouraging underrepresented minority students from all levels of the educational pipeline to pursue health professions careers; and
    4. have made significant recruitment efforts to increase the number of Native American individuals serving in faculty or administrative positions at the school.
  • And other program requirements as specified in Funding Opportunity Announcement(s).

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

For more information about this and all potential HRSA funding opportunities, please visit the HRSA Open Opportunities Page.

Program Contact Information

Tia-Nicole Leak
Social Science Analyst/Project Officer
(301) 443-1134

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number93.157
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram not specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but they are eligible
Can the funding from the program be renewedNo
Funding TypeDiscretionary
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Non-Tribal Entities
Matching Funds RequiredNo
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)10,503
Length of Program3 years
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?No

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