Centers of Excellence

To assist eligible schools in supporting programs of excellence in health professions education for under-represented minority individuals.

The grantee is required to use the funds awarded: (1) to develop a large competitive applicant pool through linkages with institutions of higher education,
local school districts, and other community-based entities; and establish an education pipeline for health professions careers; (2) to establish, strengthen, or expand programs to enhance the academic performance of under-represented minority students attending the school; (3) to improve the capacity of such school to train, recruit, and retain under-represented minority faculty including the payment of stipends and fellowships; (4) to carry out activities to improve the information resources, clinical education, curricula and cultural competence, to facilitate the entry of under-represented minority students into health or allied health professions schools; (5) to facilitate faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting under-represented minority groups, including research on issues relating to the delivery of health care; (6) to carry out a program to train students of the school in providing health services to a significant number of under-represented minority individuals through training provided to such students at community-based health facilities.

These facilities provide such health services and are located at a site remote from the main site of the teaching facilities of the school; and (7) to provide stipends as appropriate.
Examples of Funded Projects

Projects funded proposed a range of activities for under-represented targeted minority individuals, including high school students; undergraduate college pre-professional (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy) students; enrolled professional students and faculty.

COEs support structured and unstructured summer and academic year activities to address the seven legislative purposes.

Activities include summer academic enrichment programs for undergraduate college students; professional school admissions process preparation sessions (MCAT/DAT review, etc.); retention services for enrolled professional students (i.e., summer pre-matriculation programs, tutorials, personal and career counseling; clinical educational experiences; recruitment/retention of basic science and clinical faculty; student/faculty research experiences; medical school curriculum development; increased library holdings relative to minority health issues; and purchase of computer and other equipment (to retain faculty and improve professional student performance, etc.).

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - Stuart Weiss, Acting Chief, Diversity Branch, Division of Diversity and Interdisciplinary Education, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 9-36, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Program information and assistance may be obtained by calling (301) 443-5644.
Website Address

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Meharry Medical College $ 9,531,313   2009-07-012023-06-30
Tuskegee University $ 8,561,696   1988-07-012023-06-30
Xavier University Of Louisiana $ 8,260,461   1988-07-012023-06-30
Meharry Medical College $ 9,532,812   1988-07-012023-06-30
Meharry Medical College $ 38,938,510   2009-07-012023-06-30
Xavier University Of Louisiana $ 28,208,044   1988-07-012023-06-30
Meharry Medical College $ 32,026,845   1988-07-012023-06-30
Tuskegee University $ 26,548,678   1988-07-012023-06-30
George Washington University, The $ 1,702,332   2018-09-012022-08-31
University Of Texas Health Science Center Of San Antonio $ 2,099,790   2013-07-012022-06-30

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, a total of 4 continuation awards were made. In FY 2008, it is estimated that 4 continuation awards will be made.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds may be used by health professions schools to: (1) Establish, strengthen, or expand programs to enhance the academic performance of minority students attending the school; (2) establish, strengthen or expand programs to increase the number and quality of minority applicants to the school; (3) improve the capacity of the school to train, recruit, and retain minority faculty; (4) with respect to minority health issues, to carry out activities to improve the information resources and curricula of the school and clinical education at the school; and (5) facilitate faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting minority groups.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants are: accredited schools of allopathic medicine; osteopathic medicine; dentistry; pharmacy; graduate programs in behavioral or mental health; or other public and nonprofit health or educational entities.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as described in Section 736(c)(2)(A) of the Public Service Act, and which received a contract under Section 788B of the Public Health Service Act (Advanced Financial Distress Assistance) for fiscal year 1987, may apply for Centers of Excellence (COE) grants under Section 736 of the Public Health Service Act.

The four designated schools are: Meharry School of Dentistry; Meharry School of Medicine; Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine; and Xavier School of Pharmacy.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Certain HBCUs and eligible health professions schools must train a significant number of under-represented minority students in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; faculty recruitment, training and retention; and faculty and student research activities.


Applicants should review the individual HRSA Guidance documents issued under this CFDA program for any required proof or certifications which must be submitted prior to or simultaneous with submission of an application package.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Grant applications and required forms for this program can be obtained from Please visit the Web site at to both find and apply for all Federal grant opportunities. All qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee which will make funding recommendations to the Associate Administrator for the Bureau of Health Professions. The Associate Administrator has the authority to make final selections for awards.

Award Procedures

Notification is made in writing by a Notice of Grant Award issued from the Headquarters office.

Deadlines .


Public Health Service Act, Title VII, Section 736, 42 U.S.C. 293, as amended; Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998, Public Law 105-392.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

About 4 months after receipt of applications.




At the end of the initial project period, competing continuation applications may be submitted for up to three 3 years.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Project periods are for 3 years.

Post Assistance Requirements


A Uniform Summary Progress Report must be submitted annually within the approved project period.

Financial Status Reports are required within 90 days after the end of each budget period.

A final progress report and final Financial Status Report must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the project period.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


All records must be maintained until expiration of 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions remain following the 3-uear period, such as those raised as a result of an audit or an on-going enforcement action, recipients must retain records until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $11,393,370; FY 08 $12,036,127; and FY 09 est reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2008, it is projected that 4 non-competing continuation awards will be issued. The range of FY 2008 financial assistance will be $2,188,610 to $4,250,322, with an average award of $3,009,032.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR Part 92 for State, local and tribal governments and 45 CFR Part 74 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations and commercial organizations, as applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Stuart Weiss, Acting Chief, Diversity Branch, Division of Diversity and Interdisciplinary Education, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 9-36, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Program information and assistance may be obtained by calling (301) 443-5644.

Headquarters Office

Grants Management Office: Rock Goodman, Director, Division of Grants Management Operations, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11A-16, Rockville, MD 20857. Health Services Branch: (301) 443-2385; Research and Training Branch: (301) 443-3099; Government and Special Focus Branch: (301) 443-3288.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Project proposals are evaluated on the basis of: (1) The degree to which the applicant arrange to continue the proposed project beyond the federally-funded project period; (2) the degree to which the proposed project meets all purposes stated in the legislative authorization; (3) the relationships of the objectives of the proposed project and the goals that are developed; (4) the administrative and managerial ability of the applicant to carry out the project in a cost-effective manner; (5) the adequacy of the staff and faculty to carry out the program; (6) the soundness of the budget for assuring effective utilization of grant funds and the proportion of total program funds which come from nonfederal sources and the degree to which they are projected to increase over the grant period; (7) the number of individuals who can be expected to benefit from the project; (8) the technical merit of the project; and (9) the overall impact the project will have on strengthening the schools' capacity to train the targeted minority health professionals and increase the supply of minority health professionals available to serve minority populations in underserved areas.

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