About the Program

The Center for Improving Care Delivery for the Aging (CICADA) is one of a national network of 18 Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) funded by the National Institute of Aging (NIA). CICADA focuses on the discipline of health services research and on the organization, financing, and delivery of health care for older adults.

The essential goal of RCMAR is to recruit, mentor, and develop individuals from underrepresented backgrounds into accomplished, independent research scientists. This process begins with pilot research projects RCMAR Scientists undertake with guidance from their mentors. Since its founding 21 years ago, more than 400 research scholars have come through the RCMAR program, most going on to academic research careers.

Leadership and Staff

  • Rachel M. Werner, MD, PhD, CICADA Co-Director, Administrative Core Co-Director
  • Allison Willis, MD, MS, CICADA Co-Director, Administrative Core Co-Director
  • Julie Szymaszek, MA, CICADA, Administrative Director
  • Meghan Lane-Fall, MD, MSHP, CICADA Research Education Component Co-Director
  • Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, CICADA Research Education Component Co-Director
  • Norma Coe, PhD, CICADA Analysis Core Co-Director
  • Rebecca Hubbard, PhD, CICADA Analysis Core Co-Director

Funding Opportunities

Stay tuned for information about how to apply to be a RCMAR Scientist with CICADA and CICADA’s 2022-2023 Request for Pilot Research Proposals. Click here to view last year’s Request for Pilot Research Proposals.

How to Apply

CICADA selects three new RCMAR Scientists each year through a competitive call for 1-year pilot grants. CICADA targets three categories of trainees to become RCMAR Scientists:

  1. MD and MD/PhD clinical fellows who have completed their residency
  2. PhD postdoctoral trainees
  3. MD/PhD, MD, and PhD junior faculty [defined as Instructor or early-stage (<3 years) Assistant Professor].

Eligible trainees are persons who are underrepresented in research based on the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-15-053) definitions, including Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Trainees must either be actively engaged in HSR in aging relevant to CICADA themes or committed to developing new research skills in HSR applied to aging and must be at Penn during their training as a RCMAR Scientist.

Click here for frequently asked questions and more information.

CICADA Scholars

2021-2022 Cohort

Lan Đoàn, PhD, MPH

Postdoctoral Fellow, Population Health, Section for Health Equity, Center for the Study of Asian American Health, New York University

Courtney Lee

Courtney R. Lee, MD, MPH

Clinical Fellow, General Internal Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

Rose Onyeali

Rose N. Onyeali, MD

MSHP Student, Health Policy Research, Perelman School of Medicine

Past CICADA Cohorts

2020-2021 Cohort

Juan Pablo Atal

Juan Pablo Atal, PhD, MS

Assistant Professor, Economics, School of Arts and Sciences

Roman Ayele, PhD, MPH

Research Scientist, Veterans Health Administration, and Assistant Professor, Colorado School of Public Health

Maia Clark-Cutaia, RN, MSN, PhD

Assistant Professor, Nursing, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

2019-2020 Cohort

Nwamaka Eneanya

Nwamaka Eneanya, MD, MPH 

Assistant Professor, Renal-Electrolyte Hypertension, 
Perelman School of Medicine

Salama Freed, PhD, MA, MS 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine

Eleanor Rivera, PhD, RN 

Assistant Professor, Population Health Nursing Science, University of Illinois Chicago

2018-2019 Cohort

Kevin Jenkins

Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhD

Vice-Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Social Policy & Practice

Adriana Perez

Adriana Perez, PhD, CRNP, ANP-BC, FAAN

Assistant Professor, Family and Community Health, Penn Nursing

Jasmine Travers, PhD

Assistant Professor, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

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