Duke Psychiatry EDI Seed Grant Program

The Duke Psychiatry EDI Seed Grant Program provides a financial foundation for resident-led initiatives aiming to strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts within Duke, the local Durham community, and/or the field of psychiatry.

The Duke Psychiatry Residency program is committed to supporting excellence by encouraging residents to develop and implement novel ideas and initiatives that enhance the culture of equity and inclusion within psychiatry. 

Successful seed grants may relate to any number of areas including, but not limited to, public and community psychiatry, rural psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, perinatal psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, global mental health, LGBTQIA+ health, mental health stigma, patient advocacy and education, or workforce diversity. Proposals may include initiatives that primarily entail education, training, advocacy, research, or quality improvement.

This program is funded by the North Carolina Areas Health Education Centers (AHEC). 

Development of an Interactive Resource for Mental Health Education and Prevention within the Latino Community

  • Project lead: Andres Fuenmayor-Mago, MD 
  • Mentor: Andrew Tuck, MD
  • Description: The goal of this project is to use a dynamic social media platform to empower the Latino community through evidence-based mental health education and awareness. By disseminating accurate information, combating stigma, and fostering strategies to build resilience and cope with life stressors, this initiative seeks to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage timely mental health evaluation. 

Development of the Migrant Farmworker Mental Health Mobile Clinic Elective

  • Project lead: Emily Aarons, MD and Andres Fuenmayor-Mago, MD
  • Collaborators: Modjulie Moore, MD and Katy Sims, MD
  • Mentor: Marvin Swartz, MD
  • Description: This project aims to increase the provision of mental health assistance to migrant farmworkers in North Carolina during mobile clinic primary care visits. By integrating mental health support into existing primary care services and leveraging community partnerships, this project aims to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on the overall health and well-being of this population. 

2023-2024 Awardees

Implementation and evaluation of a visual aid tool to support Spanish speaking patients in mental health care treatment

  • Project lead(s): Jonathan Nahmias, MD
  • Collaborators: Xiomara Nieves Alvarado, MD and Chisom Ezigbo  
  • Mentor: Tyson Pankey, PhD, MPH
  • Description: This project served as a continuation of a 2022-2023 EDI Seed Grant award. The primary goal of this project involved testing the clinical utility and acceptability of a culturally responsive visual aid tool for use in psychiatric clinical encounters with patients who speak Spanish as a primary language. The tool was designed to enhance patient-provider communication and psychoeducation among this patient population.

2022-2023 Awardees

Utilization of NCCARE 360 information and referral system to address social determinants of health among patients treated on Duke Health’s Behavioral Health Inpatient Unit (BHIP)

  • Project lead(s): Lynette Staplefoote-Boynton, MD, MPH  
  • Collaborators: Elena Tenebaum, PhD, Akia Pittman, LCSW, Amy Conkling, LCSW
  • Mentor: Leslie Bronner, MD, DrPH, MPH
  • Description: This project aimed to address health disparities by systematically assessing social determinants of health and connecting patients to community-based organizations by leveraging the North Carolina Department of Health and Human-sponsored and Unite Us operated NCCARE360 platform. 

The Diversity and Inclusion Podcast Series: An Educational Tool for Psychiatry Residents

  • Project lead(s): Mountasir El-Tohami, MD and Jonathan Nahmias, MD
  • Mentor: Terence Bethea, MD
  • Description: This project aimed to develop podcast episodes as a means to disseminate knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion-related topics to psychiatry residents and to enhance clinical care to patients of diverse backgrounds. Episodes were intended to promote a workplace culture of inclusivity and self-reflection. 

Development of a Visual Aid Tool to Support Spanish Speaking Patients in Mental Health Care Treatment

  • Project lead(s): Xiomara Nieves Alvarado 
  • Collaborators: Jonathan Nahmias, MD, Chisom Ezigbo 
  • Mentor: Tyson Pankey, PhD, MPH
  • Description: This project aimed to develop a culturally responsive visual aid tool for use in psychiatric clinical encounters with patients who speak Spanish as a primary language. The tool is designed to enhance patient-provider communication and psychoeducation among this patient population.

Integration of the Lay Mental Health Advocates Program within the Duke Regional Hospital Psychiatric Inpatient Unit (BHIP)

  • Project Lead: Rick Wolthusen, MD 
  • Collaborators: Bruny Kenou, BS, Aiyana Ponce, BS, Jonathan Nahmias, MD
  • Mentor: Allison Gilbert, PhD, MPH
  • Description: This project aimed to match BHIP patients with trained Lay Mental Health Advocates (LMHA) who were familiar with the patients' culture and communities as means to increase patient trust, medication compliance, treatment follow-up, and patient empowerment. Additionally, this project aimed to reduce the number of psychiatric hospitalizations, length of hospital stays, and ED visits among this patient population. 


All residents in the Duke Psychiatry residency program are eligible to apply. A resident must serve as the Primary Investigator (PI) for any funded project. Residents may apply as individuals or with collaborators (collaborators may include individuals outside of the residency program).

Residents must have a Duke-affiliated faculty mentor to oversee their project.


Seed grant awards may not exceed $2,000. The number of grants awarded will be determined by the overall competitiveness of the grant and the proposed budget. Residents must be in good standing within the residency training program at the time of submission and remain so throughout the project period. Funds may be revoked should this status change.

Proposal Submission Requirements

The proposal requires the following components:

  • Project title
  • Principal investigator (must be a Duke psychiatry resident)
  • Collaborator(s)
  • Faculty mentor (must be a Duke employee)
  • Proposal narrative (brief 100-word maximum abstract)
  • Letter of support 
  • References
  • Budget with justification

More details are provided on the proposal template.

Download the Template

Award Timeline

Submission deadline: March 29, 2024 (NOTE: RFP is not currently active.)
Please submit your proposal to Jashi Abhirajan in the residency administrative office (psychresoffice@duke.edu) using the submission template form. 

  • Funding notification: April 2024 
  • Funding begins: May 2024
  • Project end: May 2025
  • Report due: June 2025

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the EDI Seed Grant Program Selection Committee, which is
comprised of residency and departmental leadership.


Grant recipients must submit two written progress reports during the 12-month funding period. An interim report will be due by December 2024 and a final report will be due by June 2024. Recipients will also be expected to deliver a brief presentation to the residency community describing their project and outcomes (June 2024).     


For questions about the Duke Psychiatry EDI Seed Grant Program, please contact Tyson Pankey, Associate Program Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (tyson.pankey@duke.edu).


Coming soon