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Fellowship opportunites

Our fellowship provides rich clinical research opportunities. 

Family Planning research at the U of U is centered at the Division of Family Planning in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. To broaden the scope of their interdisciplinary research, the Division formally established the U of U Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health Access, Science, Coverage, Equity, iNnovation and Training (the ASCENT Center). Dr. David Turok serves as the ASCENT Center Director. The Center engages with a wide range of interdisciplinary collaborations of health care providers, researchers, educators, and administrators who are committed to elevating the health and well-being of our community through sexual and reproductive health care, research, education, and advocacy. The ASCENT Center has 22 full-time employees and extensive collaborations across the U of U campus, in the community, and across the country. The faculty are split between clinical (MD) and PhD researchers. Clinical care is also provided by one Doctor of Nursing Practice. We have diverse funding streams that include support from the National Institutes of Health, national and local foundations, industry, and individual donors.

The ASCENT Center currently executes over two dozen investigator-initiated research protocols focused on overcoming contraceptive access barriers. The Center’s work on developing a platform supporting IUD use for EC and same-day starts is detailed throughout this application. In addition to that work are two contraceptive initiatives that have provided over 28,000 people in Utah no-cost contraception. The first was the HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative which enrolled 4,425 participants at 4 sites in Salt Lake County and assessed the impact of increased contraceptive access on a wide range of medical and social outcomes. This led to a state-wide initiative called Family Planning Elevated which supports 28 clinical sites across Utah. Most recently, a large scale grant was received to increase patient access and create social impact around abortion care and overall access to the full range of sexual and reproductive healthcare in Utah and the surrounding region.

The Center also serves as Utah Site for the NICHD-funded Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network (CCTN). The Center is currently executing four FDA phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trial protocols through the CCTN addressing novel contraception delivery of a vaginal ring, a copper IUD, an injectable, and a male hormonal gel.

These ongoing projects and partnerships provide a vast array of opportunities for fellows to explore research project prospects unique to their individual interests and skill building preferences.


Fellows have the potential to finish fellowship with 5 to 10 publications.

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Research Network (OGRN) and The University’s Family Planning Research Group (FPRG) create a departmental commitment to a research agenda that prioritizes family planning research and maximizes opportunities for family planning fellows.

Faculty & Staff Support for Fellows

The ASCENT Center administrators, faculty, and staff along with the OGRN [provide link] provide support for all aspects of research planning and execution from grant and IRB submission, clinical trial enrollment and analysis, as well as publication and dissemination of results.

In addition, fellow consistently work with ASCENT Center Research Director, Jessica Sanders PhD, and the Center’s Director of Implementation Research, Rebecca Simmons PhD. These relationships allow fellows day-to-day mentoring for all research endeavors.


The University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology receives considerable NIH research support, ranking 6th among US obstetrics and gynecology departments in NIH research funding. The department is a member of seven NIH multi-center clinical trials networks, including The Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network.

The NIH, private foundations, and the pharmaceutical industry fund family planning research. The department limits industry sponsors to non-profit corporations and projects that focus on increasing access to highly effective methods of contraception.

In addition, the department is an NIH-designated Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Care. The department has an active research program in novel drug discovery and has productive university-wide collaborations. The FPRG also has numerous collaborations with other fellowship sites.

current research & publications

Learn more about our current research and publications.

Contact Us

Phone: 801-581-7647
Fax: 801-585-5146

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Family Planning Program

Salt Lake City, UT 84132