About the Institute

The VCU Institute for Women’s Health (IWH) is a chartered university-wide institute approved by the Board of Visitors in 1999. It is the only community of scholars across VCU that conducts, promotes, and integrates interdisciplinary research, education, and community engagement in women’s health and sex/ gender differences. As the central coordinating entity for women’s health at VCU, IWH has been instrumental in identifying new and emerging opportunities and influencing institutional priorities related to women’s health.  

Since its establishment, IWH has achieved major accomplishments in the areas of research, education, and community engagement and has increased the University’s visibility as a national leader in women’s health. In 2003, the Institute was designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health as one of 20 National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health. The Institute currently has over 130 affiliate faculty representing 12 schools from across VCU.


The mission of the VCU Institute for Women’s Health is to advance interdisciplinary research and provide education and training in women’s health and sex/gender differences, foster community engagement, support equity for diverse women in science, and promote standards of excellence in women’s health care toward the goal of improving the health of women across the lifespan. 


The VCU Institute for Women’s Health is a dynamic leader for the university’s collective efforts in women’s health and a national model of excellence. 


  • Research: Develop, support and facilitate interdisciplinary basic, clinical, behavioral, translational, and community-engaged research in women’s health and sex/gender differences by identifying and pursuing funding opportunities, fostering collaborations across schools and departments, facilitating research development groups, mentoring junior investigators, and providing opportunities for research dissemination. 
  • Education: Develop education and training programs in women’s health for professionals, faculty, students, and the community. 
  • Community Engagement: Engage community partners to create opportunities for women’s health research and education, support dissemination of culturally relevant health information, and increase linkage to healthcare services and ongoing research in women’s health and sex/gender differences.