The goal of the Benedict College EARDA Program is to enhance and strengthen the participation of the institution in biomedical research and research training. With this competing continuation application we seek continued EARDA support to further enhance and expand our on-going research activities and student training in biomedical sciences. Since the start of the Benedict College EARDA/FRESP support in the fall of 2001, the EA has diligently developed the implementation plan, the advisory committee and successfully administered the office of sponsored biomedical research. Our research capacity has expanded significantly as evidenced by increased external funding and faculty productivity. The major accomplishments that have resulted in Phase II FRESP award include funding of the MBRS RISE Program and continued collaborative research with the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine through the South Carolina EPSCoR/INBRE collaborative research program. Students participated in pilot studies and attended and presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students for the last three years. Through increased grant submission, collaboration and funding, the EARDA Program has significantly strengthened the biomedical research infrastructure at Benedict College. With this revised competing continuation we plan to fund pilot studies that will promote and increase participation of both minority faculty and students in biomedical research and research training. Additionally we plan to expand and strengthen student research, the visiting scientist seminar program and grant writing workshop. With the adoption of the second PI, who is the Associate Vice President for Sponsored Programs, the team will strengthen the research administration infrastructure at Benedict College. The two PIs will work together and implement the leadership development plan. Consistent with the goals of the EARDA program and accomplishments of the initial proposal, Benedict College has collaborative research programs and proposals with USC School of Medicine, USC School of Public Heath and the Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina. This proposal will continue to strengthen these collaborations by increasing the number of participating faculty and students and strengthening our research infrastructure. This arrangement will enable us to use available resources most judiciously and offer research training to our students most efficiently. Thus, our students will be successful in achieving careers in science and research. The Advisory Committee will meet and evaluate the Program with formal assessment tools using the criteria as proposed in the application. Through the newly established office of Sponsored Programs and Research the college is committed to expand capacity building beyond the funding period.
Through this revised application Benedict College requests two years of transitional support for the EARDA Program. The institution is committed in enabling its environment for research infrastructures and capacity that has been demonstrated by expanding the recently established Office of Sponsored Programs and Research. This project will support more faculty and student research and build necessary alliances for collaboration and partnership with other research intensive institutions/organizations. This office is committed to develop and implement an institutional/leadership development plan in order to provide necessary support to strengthen and extend this project beyond the funding period.