AHEAD Program

Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) is a mentored professional development program for UW-Madison postdoctoral scholars working in the health sciences conducting research related to health disparities or health equity. Hosted by the Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE), the AHEAD program seeks to address the gaps in professional support and training that postdoctoral scholars often experience by providing a cohort experience with supplemental mentoring. AHEAD participants can be from any department or unit across the UW campus.

What Makes the AHEAD Program Unique?

It's different kinds of support like emotional and social support with sort of the traditional informational and tangible aspects of career counseling but matching that with the community and with kind of 'come as you are' feeling of it-I think is pretty unique.
I thought the AHEAD program does that really beautifully and well. I don't think I've come across anything either in my pre-doctoral time at UW that has that particular merge of support.

2021 AHEAD participant

AHEAD Components

AHEAD Seminars

AHEAD scholars are expected to commit to attending quarterly, 2-hour long AHEAD seminars. The seminars are designed to provide scholars with a unified opportunity for structured program offerings along with the exchange of information and sharing of relevant experiences. Topics addressed in the seminar series are chosen by AHEAD scholars. Past seminar topics include time management, developing biosketches/CVs, and writing productivity.

AHEAD Seminar Dates for Spring 2024

Wednesday, February 7, 2023, 2:30-4:30PM

Wednesday, April 17, 2023, 2:30-4:30PM

If you would like to join, click here to sign-up or email Amy Filut at filut@wisc.edu.

AHEAD Faculty Director Stephanie Budge, PhD


AHEAD scholars are expected to participate in ICTR-sponsored Mentoring Up training. Dr. Stephanie Budge, AHEAD Faculty Director, also provides AHEAD scholars mentoring and guidance.

AHEAD Pilot Award

Since AHEAD scholars are postdoctoral scholars, they are also eligible to apply for the AHEAD Pilot Award, which provides up to $10,000 in seed funding to support health equity research.

Click here to learn more about the AHEAD Pilot Award.

Want to learn more about the AHEAD Program? 

Email Amy Filut at filut@wisc.edu.

Ready to sign-up for AHEAD?

Click here to sign-up and receive more information.


The AHEAD program was established in 2012 by the UW-Madison Collaborative Center for Health Equity in partnership with select career development programs associated with UW-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. The target audience for the AHEAD program was postdoctoral scholars whose research had a focus on health disparities and/or health equity.

In 2016, CCHE extended AHEAD to other health equity fellows on the UW campus and invited recent alumni of the Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) program to participate via video. AHEAD began to provide scholars mentoring and support from AHEAD Faculty Director Stephanie Budge, PhD.

Funding for AHEAD was provided by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health from the Wisconsin Partnership Program (Grant ID #5132) through a grant to the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. The UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research also receives funding from NIH-NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) 1UL1TR002373.