The goal of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (MCCOM) Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) is to prepare underrepresented minority (URM) pre-doctoral students to become future national leaders in disease-related basic and translational research. Most URM student research training programs focus primarily on basic science research. Although critically important, this focus does not adequately address the need for URM investigators to appreciate how basic science research translates to improved health. This perspective is a unique attribute of MCCOM. Since 1997 the MCCOM IMSD has successfully combined 1) supplemental training of URM pre-doctoral students;2) training of summer URM medical students;and 3) training of URM medical students for one or two years through the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP). These MCCOM IMSD activities have been fully integrated with the MCCOM Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) funded by NIGMS. The MCCOM IMSD program proposed here will now focus exclusively on enhancing the experience of URM students in the Mayo Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs. Synergy between the IMSD and PREP funded programs will remain a major strength. Over the past eleven years 87% of URM pre-doctoral students supported by the MCCOM IMSD have completed their doctoral degree or are on track to do so. The MCCOM IMSD has also improved the skills of Mayo faculty in addressing the unique needs of URM students. The next period of proposed MCCOM IMSD support is critical to continue this highly successful project that began in 1997, maintaining Mayo Clinic as a national leader in addressing the needs of URM trainees. The following specific aims will be accomplished: 1. Support MCCOM URM Ph.D. and M.D. /Ph.D. students by providing 2 years of fellowship support and professional development skills at the outset of Ph.D. training. 2. Engage participating students in rigorous oral presentation and grant writing workshops to improve communication skills. 3. Provide continuous counseling within the MCCOM IMSD program and periodic subsequent progress reviews. 4. Counsel pre-doctoral URM students in the process of obtaining competitive post-doctoral fellowship positions. 5. Evaluate the MCCOM IMSD through an expert external reviewer and internal advisory committee. Public health relevance: This research education program will provide 2 years of fellowship support and professional skills development at the outset of Ph.D. training. The goal is to help students from diverse backgrounds (e.g. ethnic/racial minorities, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds) to advance to successful biomedical research careers at the PhD level thus contributing to the diversification of the biomedical research workforce.
This research education program will provide 2 years of fellowship support and professional skills development at the outset of Ph.D. training. The goal is to help students from diverse backgrounds (e.g. ethnic/racial minorities, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds) to advance to successful biomedical research careers at the PhD level thus contributing to the diversification of the biomedical research workforce.
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