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Centers of Excellence (COE)


The Centers of Excellence grant program is part of a national strategy to improve the public’s access to quality, culturally-appropriate health care by increasing the number of underrepresented minority students who enter and successfully graduate from health professions training programs.

Centers of Excellence grants help health professions schools improve information resources, clinical education, curricula, and cultural competency as they relate to minority health issues. Ultimately, Centers of Excellence grantees serve as innovative resource and education centers for the recruitment, training and retention of underrepresented minority students and faculty.

With Centers of Excellence funding, grantees offer programing that meets the following seven legislative purposes:

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

Underrepresented minorities are defined as individuals who are

  • Black or African American, 
  • American Indian, 
  • Alaska Native, 
  • Native Hawaiian, 
  • Hispanic or Latino, and 
  • Asian other than Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Asian Indian, or Thai.

Active Grant Projects and Abstracts


Accredited schools of allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and graduate programs in behavioral or mental health that

  • Have a significant number of underrepresented minority students enrolled and accepted for enrollment;
  • Have been effective in assisting underrepresented minority students complete their training and receive their health professions degree;
  • Have been effective in recruiting underrepresented minority individuals;
  • Have made significant recruitment efforts to increase the number of URM individuals serving in faculty or administrative positions at the school.


Project Officer
Tia-Nicole Leak, PhD

Open Funding Opportunities

HRSA-17-063 Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Program

HRSA-17-066 Nurse Faculty Loan Program

HRSA-17-064 Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) Program

HRSA-17-067 Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program

All Open Opportunities