The primary objective of the UCSC IMSD Program is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who receive the PhD in the biomedical sciences and related fields. We intend to do this by focusing on two populations of students. First, we need to increase the number of undergraduate students who pursue and obtain the PhD. Second, we need to continue to expand the numbers of minority students in our own PhD programs. In each of the last two decades our campus has doubled the number of IMSD/MBRS participants that have gone on to complete the PhD. In the upcoming decade we need to continue to increase the rate of PhD achievement. Our major objectives are 1) to produce 70 PhDs in the next decade with a milestone of 28 in the next 4 years. This will be achieved by a combination of our undergrads completing graduate programs at other universities and by the expansion of our own PhD programs. 2) We aim to have 50 students in the PhD pipeline at the end of the next 4 years. 3) We want to increase the number of minority graduate students in the biomedical sciences for our whole campus. Data from the NSF for 2006 showed that 4.7% of all Ph.D.s and 8.8% of degrees to US citizens were awarded to Hispanics, African Americans and Native Americans. With IMSD support we can do much better. For our campus we have set a target of 20 % of degrees to US citizens being awarded to minority students. The major components of our program are: i, an intensive summer training program;ii, immersion of undergraduates in faculty research programs during the academic year;iii, a weekly Research Reports course for all participants;iv, an office and support staff to provide academic guidance, personal counseling, and career advice;v, a "tutoring for excellence" program;and vi, a comprehensive graduate program that both uses and enhances elements of the undergraduate program. Most importantly, we try to build a community of faculty, staff, and students that support each other and share a commitment to significantly increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in biomedical research.
The students supported by this grant will be working on a wide variety of biomedically related research projects. In most cases their mentors will be principal investigators for NIH R01 grants. However, the primary goal of the project is to prepare minority students for research careers in the biomedical sciences. The community of research scientists in the USA must become more representative of the diverse population of our country if we are to meet the medical needs of all who live here.
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