AHEAD Program

AHEAD logoThe AHEAD program is a career development program for UW-Madison scholars, especially those from backgrounds typically underrepresented in medical science, interested in health equity research hosted by CCHE. The AHEAD program seeks to address the gaps in professional support and training that postdoctoral fellows often experience 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 attend quarterly AHEAD seminars (90 minutes). The seminars are designed to provide scholars with a unified opportunity for structured program offerings along with the exchange of information about health equity research goals and sharing of relevant experiences. Topics addressed in the seminar series include time management, developing biosketches/CVs, and writing productivity.

AHEAD Faculty Director Stephanie Budge, PhD


AHEAD scholars are expected to participate in ICTR-sponsored Mentoring Up training.   The AHEAD Program Director also provides mentoring/guidance.

Questions? email ccheworkforce@ictr.wisc.edu

Pilot Funding

Since AHEAD scholars are early career scholars (postdocs, fellows, and junior faculty), they are eligible to apply for the AHEAD Pilot Grant, which provides up to $10,000 in seed funding to support research related to health equity.

Learn more about the pilot here.

Questions? Contact us at ccheworkforce@ictr.wisc.edu


The AHEAD program was established in 2012 by UW CCHE in partnership with select career development programs associated with ICTR. The target AHEAD audience is post-doctoral or junior faculty scholars whose scholarship focuses on health disparities/health equity research.

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 also offers scholars mentoring and support provided by Faculty Director Stephanie Budge, PhD.