The proposed project examines the educational and career pathways of students aspiring to biomedical and behavioral science research careers, addressing their experiences with diversity and socialization in becoming a scientist, access to resources, and engagement in academic settings at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With a strong foundation and preliminary empirical work already completed, the project plans post-baccalaureate data collection to understand the key transition points that college students experience along the path to a research career. Baseline data were collected in Fall 2004 on 70,249 students from 694 institutions with an initial interest (i.e., probable field of study at the start of freshman year) in biomedical or behavioral science majors. Basing the sample on the number of underrepresented student aspirants, a random comparative, student sample was selected from 160 colleges and universities and were followed up through the end of their first year of college and the fourth year of college. Funds are requested to return to the original sample for data collection at the fifth year after college entry to identify an additional 12,129 students who were retained in the major and to follow the post-college pathways of 41,347 students into graduate or professional school, post-baccalaureate programs, and work-related experiences in BBS fields. This seven-year longitudinal study accounts for student predispositions and abilities, socialization, and preparation at different types of colleges to determine significant college experiences that result in desired outcomes, including retention in the major, graduation, and application and enrollment in graduate school. Multilevel modeling techniques will help determine the significant contributions of psychological and college environmental factors (including participation in NIH programs) that prepare students for research careers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-MORE-4 (EI))
Program Officer
Poodry, Clifton A
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Education
Los Angeles
United States
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