The Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research (CHPIR) is an instigator and facilitator of a broad range of health policy and health disparities research that address policy relevant issues. Activities focus on population based health research, health systems research, and intervention and evaluation research. The Center fosters an interdisciplinary collaborative investigative environment that also seeks to educate Duke students by providing experiences in working with our research teams and through individual mentorship.

The Center is part of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), joining them in their work to reduce health disparities. Together we recognize that local is global when dealing with health inequalities. So, in that spirit CHPIR enhances DGHI’s partnerships, research, and impact.


CHPIR is an ideal setting in which to provide undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on experience in seeing how research interacts in the short-term and long-term, with community well-being and policy change. In addition to mentoring numerous students each year, CHPIR Faculty also teach a diverse array of classes within the Duke Community, including:

  • Fundamentals of Global Health (Duke University)
  • Global Health Ethics (Duke University)
  • Health Promotion Course (DKU-Peking Global Health Certificate Program)
  • Interculturally Competent Analysis of the Uptake of Routine Vaccination Services in Ghana and Honduras (Duke University, Bass Connections)
  • Introduction to Mobile Health (Duke University)
  • Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Duke University)
  • Pocket Colposcope: Increased Distribution and Adoption (Duke University, Bass Connections)
  • Social Determinants of Health: Child and the World (Duke Kunshan University)
  • Global Health and Migration (Duke Kunshan University and Duke University)
  • Global Health Needs Among Refugee Children in Durham County (Duke University, Bass Connections)
  • mHealth for Better Routine Immunization Data in Honduras (Duke University, Bass Connections)


Conducting community-based research and evaluation with and within the community grounds the Center's work. We value promoting resources, services, and capacity-building within the community. Our partnerships include: community-based organizations, universities, community- and university-based medical clinics, local and state government entities, and community/church leadership.

With a focus on real-world applications within communities, the Center engages in rigorous and innovative research and evaluation, including: cost-effectiveness evaluations, randomized control trials, quantitative and qualitative evaluations, formative evaluations, and outcome evaluations.

CHPIR also recognizes the intersectionality of individual, environmental, and social determinants that affect health. Thus, we focus on overlooked populations, including: women of color, youth and adolescents, Southern U.S. LGBTQ community, clergy, rural communities, Spanish-speaking populations, undocumented and immigrant communities, as well as health conditions that are often stigmatized, such as: chronic diseases, mental health, sexual health and STIs, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, obesity, and Hepatitis C. 


At the core of many Center projects is translating research into policy, services, and new interventions. Our provider- and policy-level recommendations are based on the realities of local contexts, whether in Craven County, NC or Battambang, Cambodia. Some of the services we focus focus on, include:

  • Creating services designed to meet unique local needs, moving beyond linkage and retention in care to thriving in care
  • New and innovative technology to reach new audiences using approaches such as social media, gamification, and mobile phone apps
  • Intervention and curriculum development that creates current, appropriate programs addressing gaps in prevention and education
  • New approaches to lingering challenges that flip the paradigm from mental illness to resilience
  • Projects that change local systems including governmental and agency-level systems
  • Research and data-driven publications that can educate elected officials and influence policy and program development