IWH develops, supports, and facilitates 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.  



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The ADVANCE-IT (Institutional Transformation) initiative was established in 2018 with a $2.99 million grant from the National Science Foundation to an interdisciplinary team of faculty women leaders at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Principal Investigator is Susan Kornstein; Co-Principal Investigators are Maike Philipsen, Barbara Boyan, Gypsy Denzine, and Vanessa Sheppard. 

The purpose of the grant is to transform VCU in ways that will effectively diversify its faculty across various intersecting identities in STEM fields and beyond. Its goal is to overcome immunities to change and increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of STEM female faculty across intersecting identities by initiating structural and cultural change.

Our objectives are to decrease structural and cultural barriers that prevent the diversification of the faculty and to increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of STEM women faculty at VCU.