Schools of Health Sciences Social Justice Fellowship...Advancing Just Health for All

The Office of Health Sciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is proud to announce the establishment and beginning of our Social Justice Fellowship.  The new Fellowship is a unique developmental activity for faculty in the six (6) health sciences schools who are committed to social justice. The inaugural class of six Fellows will begin in February 2022.

This program was developed as a direct response to University of Pittsburgh students' calls for change in Spring 2020 presented to Chancellor Gallagher condemning systemic racism and demanding the university develop solutions to achieve social justice and bring about transformative change. The establishment of the fellowship also comes on the heels of a commitment from Senior Vice Chancellor Anantha Shekhar’s vision of health sciences activism that conjoins a “culture of health” awareness and “empowerment activism” through a cooperating collaborative integrative academic health sciences framework.

Award Period: February 2022 – December 2022 

Amount: six awards of $10,000 each 

Goal: To involve the Fellow in projects that address structural inequity and racism while also engaging in experiential learning opportunities centered on health and well-being-related social justice issues. 

Who: One University of Pittsburgh Faculty member from each of the six Schools of Health Sciences, partnered with a health system, public sector agency or community organization.

What: The 2021-22 Social Justice Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for University of Pittsburgh faculty in the six schools of the health sciences. The Social Justice Fellowship conjoins science, a "culture of health" awareness and "empowerment activism" through a cooperating collaborative integrative academic health sciences framework. The research focuses on issues of race and social determinants of equity, health and well-being. 

Where: Fellows will be collaborating with a health system, public sector agency or community-based organization on social justice focused projects, These sponsors include:

  • The Pittsburgh Study (UPMC Children’s) 
  • The Black Equity Coalition 
  • Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority 
  • Western Allegheny Health Center Alliance (FQHCs) 
  • Community Engagement Centers 
  • City of Pittsburgh 
  • UPMC  
  • Other community organizations  

When: Fall / winter applications completed for a spring 2022 Award Dissemination.  

Application Timeline:  


1) Complete the application in Qualtrics. The submission period opens on 10/07/2021 and closes on 11/22/2021 at 4 pm. Faculty applicants, in the Qualtrics application, please provide responses to these questions: 

  • Who are you? How does your intersectional identity show up in your work?  
  • Brief description of your clinical | research work. How do you reflect on the purpose of your work? 
  • Brief description of your community engagement experience | work. 
  • Impact statement: What does addressing structural inequity mean to you in relation to the health and well-being of your health sciences school, the University and the broader community? What is your intent of the impact of the Social Justice Fellowship?  
  • Which of the sponsor organizations are you looking to partner with?
  • Include letter of support from department chair or division chief.
  • Other information that you feel will help to build your profile.

2) Office of Health Science Diversity, Equity and Inclusion staff will match the fellowship applicants to a community partner. Based on a maximum two-page document submitted by the faculty applicant, a match of intersecting interests will take place with the community partner. The matched duos will be notified on November 19, 2021, and will have until January 07, 2022, by 4 pm to complete Round II of the competition.  


The matched duo will create a PowerPoint with audio narration. You may also record on Zoom and share the link as you screen share the PowerPoint (technical support is available as needed). It will be up to the pair to get together to plan and submit Round II before the deadline. The 7-minute proposal PowerPoint should provide a clear plan for how you will work together and engage to improve health outcome differentials.

How the Competition Works:

Judging criteria includes: 

  • Importance/impact of the work 
  • Creativity/innovation of the strategy 
  • Feasibility of the proposed strategy 

Awardees next steps after award announcement:

  • Fellowship work can begin on February 7, 2021
  • Attend the mandatory DEI pre-recorded workshop between March 1 - April 29, 2022 
  • Conduct your Fellowship activities, including Capstone activity on or before December 15, 2022  
  • Seminars held every two months (TBD: April | June | September, December)

Departmental Responsibilities

  • Support fellow's experience with the Social Justice Fellowship, including:
    • Providing a letter affirming support for the applicant's participation in the program
    • Providing release time for the selected fellow to participate in didactic sessions and related meetings
    • Providing $5000 (to be matched by community organization) to support fellow's participation

Application Process At-A-Glance

Social Justice Fellowship Timeline: 

Application to be completed 

October 7, 2021 – November 22, 2021 

Applicants are notified as to whether their application has been chosen to move onto the next round. At this time, applicants will also be notified of their community organization assignment.

November 19, 2021 

In conjunction with sponsoring organization, a seven-minute PowerPoint proposal with audio narration is to be submitted through Qualtrics. 

No later than January 7, 2022 

Awards Announcement 

January 31, 2022 

Duration of Fellowship Activities  

February 7, 2022 – December 15, 2022 

Capstone Experience 

To be completed by December 15, 2022 

Mandatory viewing of pre-recorded workshop 

March 1, 2022 – April 29, 2022 

Mandatory oral progress reports   

Every two months (Dates TBD) 


Questions?  Please reach out to