We seek continuation of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) program that builds on the established partnership between KU and Haskell Indian Nations University. The project has demonstrated success in training productive and employable scientists, including three American Indians, who serve as role models and mentors for current Haskell students in the sciences. IRACDA combines rigorous mentored research training at KU, a research intensive university, with the opportunity to develop teaching skills in a neighboring tribal college. The award will support a total of fifteen postdoctoral IRACDA scholars, each of whom will spend three to four years in a carefully designed program that includes research training activities, teaching, and targeted professional development. In Year 1, the scholars will begin their research projects in the mentors'laboratories, take a Responsible Conduct of Research course, participate in teaching workshops provided at KU, and become acquainted with the Haskell faculty and institutional culture. The most productive and successful KU faculty members from a wide range of biomedical disciplines will serve as research mentors for the fellows. In Year 2, each fellow will team-teach an introductory biology course during the fall and spring semesters, gaining experience in both lecture and laboratory instruction. The two semester sequence allows fellows to reflect on their teaching experiences during the first semester and make adjustments for improvement in the second semester. The proximity to Haskell also allows scholars to continue their research projects as they gain teaching and multi-tasking experience. Scholars will also team-teach a Research Methods and Techniques workshop that provides essential laboratory and research skills to Haskell students who plan to begin undergraduate research experiences in KU faculty research labs supported by the RISE or Bridge programs. In Year 3, the fellows will focus on their research, complete the development of an independent research project, and enroll in a grant writing program that will lead to the preparation of a competitive research proposal. An optional Year 4 supported by the institution will allow fellows to further develop their independent research projects and continue to seek employment. The PD of the project will oversee the research training, and the Co-D (KU Director of the Office for Diversity in Science Training) and Haskell PD (faculty member from the Math and Science department) will oversee the Haskell teaching experience by ensuring that appropriate mentoring, supervision, and evaluation occur. An external evaluator familiar with the MORE programs will conduct a formative and summative evaluation on an annual basis. In summary, this KU / Haskell IRACDA program exploits the unique collaborative framework that has been established between a tribal college and a research intensive university to train a new type of scientist, one that is equipped to handle the growing ethnic, cultural, and social diversity of the 21st century.
The advancement of science and medicine depends on a well-trained workforce. This project will train future scientists in both research and teaching. Research training will occur at an intensive research university while the training in teaching wil occur at a tribal college thereby increasing the awareness and understanding of these scholars for the nation's increasingly diverse student population.
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