The Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWDD) Core will be responsible for undergraduate student research opportunities, increasing science student diversity, and providing science education to the public. A series of interiocking programs will comprise a "pipeline to health research careers" and connect the overarching 'research excellence'signature of the proposal. The Core Director has much experience in teaching, outreach, and developing student research opportunities across the state. Under her direction, a statewide TWDD Committee will develop and monitor programs. Three highly successful avenues of undergraduate research participation (Fellows, Scholars and Interns) will be continued and augmented. Participants will be selected competitively accounting for academic performance, interest in research, and minority/underrepresented status/background. The Fellows will be upper-class undergraduates that participate in laboratory research for 10 weeks during the summer (a subset will continue their research during the academic year). The Scholars will be freshman or sophomores (with no previous lab experience) that participate in a two-week intensive immersion laboratory research experience. The Interns will be students placed at industry laboratories, local biotechnology companies, or health care facilities for 10 weeks and receive bench or field experience from expert professionals. To better reflect Idaho demographics, the numbers of rural underserved, first-generation-college students, and those with Hispanic/Latino and Native American heritage participating will be increased. Initiatives at all institutions will include (i) development of diversity-related goals and practices, (ii) personalized programs of student support and skill-building and, (iii) strategic activities at two Community Colleges best situated to increase connections to the Native American and Hispanic populations. This Core will provide mentoring and professional development to undergraduate students as well as training to their faculty mentors. Training topics will include (i) responsible research conduct, (ii) research ethics, (iii) poster and oral presentations, (iv) manuscript writing, (v) bioinformatics, (vi) resume and grad school applications, and (viii) etiquette. Also, student opportunities will be augmented through a Western IDeA regional exchange program and the Idaho INBRE Annual Summer Research Conference will showcase all INBRE-funded research. This Core will increase the scientific literacy of the populace and ready a trained labor force through outreach presentations to the general public. Three popular programs, ongoing in INBRE-2, will be continued: Science-on-Tap;Health Talks;and Mini Medical School.
The TWDD Core will provide student programs so that anyone who has an interest in and talent for biomedical research can find an opportunity to pursue that activity in their home state. Building diversity not only works to mirror Idaho's demographics among those doing biomedical research but has the more critical outcome of training people with differing worid views to work well together. Also, the programs designed to bring biomedical information to the general public will increase the population's science literacy.
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