The overall aim of the SDSU Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS) IMSD program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who attain Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical, behavioral and physical sciences. We will facilitate their exposure to science, academia and careers as researchers. The program will provide 20 undergraduates with faculty mentoring, customized advising, extracurricular experiences and opportunities for communicating with engaged peers each year during the course of the project period. We have assembled a dedicated group of active research mentors who will provide our students with hands-on research training. Our management and assessment plan will measure and ensure program and student success. We will provide a highly personalized experience to the students so that they can become the successful science leaders of tomorrow, and thereby, improve the diversity of academic scientists. Furthermore, we provide documentation of the effects our program has had upon students. Our training program will result in students with strong, highly competitive applications for doctoral programs such that at least 60% of our graduating seniors will directly enter into Ph.D. programs in the biomedical, behavioral and physical sciences. To accomplish this long-term goal, we plan to (1) implement a Pre-IMSD Biomedical Exploration Program (BEP) for freshman/sophomore students to introduce biomedical research and the pathway to preparing early for graduate school in the biomedical/behavioral sciences, (2) provide year-round mentored research experiences that will allow 20 IMSD undergraduate students to acquire excellent research and laboratory skills, and (3) develop the critical thinking and oral and writte communication skills of all program participants, by providing opportunities to present their research before professional audiences and to contribute to manuscripts for publication. We also propose three aims related to program evaluation: (1) to systematically measure program outcomes with mixed methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection and the establishment of a comprehensive electronic tracking database, (2) to use the data to continuously improve the program by maintaining elements that are most effective and modifying those that are least effective, and (3) to document the process of the SDSU IMSD program so that it becomes a model of accountability and to assure future success.
The SDSU IMSD program is designed to train talented underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A major goal of the program is to increase the diversity of the workforce in biomedical science, which will increase its capability and relieve the imbalance in health care and health care research. Ending health disparities is one of the top priorities for almost every federal, state and local health agency and was a major component of Healthy People 2010. Our IMSD students will be able use their scientific and leadership skills to help end health disparities through research and policy implementation.
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