In 2011, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) entered a third agreement (herein referred to as Cycle 3) with NIGMS to sponsor the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). ABRCMS provides undergraduates with opportunities to demonstrate scientific knowledge, learn about research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, develop professional skills, and access professional networks. Since 2001, ABRCMS has served more than 46,000 participants. On average, 70% of ABRCMS attendees have been from URM groups in science (47% Blacks/African Americans, 23% Hispanic Americans, and 2% Pacific Islanders/Alaska Natives/Native Americans). More than 60% of participants have been trainees (52% undergraduates and post baccalaureates and 11% graduate students and postdoctoral scientists). The conference aims have been consistent throughout its tenure.
The aims of ABRCMS Cycle 4 are that: 1. Undergraduates share their research project data and demonstrate scientific expertise. 2. Undergraduates prepare for successful transition to graduate or professional education, training, and research careers. 3. Undergraduates prepare for the evolving, global, and interdisciplinary nature of biomedical and behavioral sciences research and careers. 4. Faculty advisers, research scientists, and program directors develop professionally as biomedical scientists, advisers, educators, and leaders. The ABRCMS team practices evidence-based planning; thus, program content is driven by conference aims in the context of national reports in science, training, development, and diversity as well as participant feedback. Activities are modified annually according to a review of (i) research priorities and undergraduate training needs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, (ii) communication, cultural and mentoring needs of research scientists working with diverse populations, (iii) recruitment and retention needs of summer and graduate programs seeking broadened participation in science, and (iv) participant feedback.
The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) is a five-year initiative to provide underrepresented minority (URM) students in the sciences with opportunities to demonstrate scientific knowledge, learn about research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, develop professional skills, and access professional networks. By (i) encouraging undergraduates to pursue advanced training and careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and (ii) providing faculty mentors, advisors, and program leaders with resources for facilitating student success, ABRCMS aligns with the NIGMS endeavor to provide 'leadership in training the next generation of scientists as well as in developing and increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce.'