The goal of the proposed Meharry RISE program is to significantly increase the number of minority students pursuing biomedical and behavioral sciences research careers by involving them in a program of excellence. Meharry Medical College has a strong record of graduating Ph.D.s in biomedical science disciplines, many of whom enter academic institutions where they continue the tradition of teaching, research and service that is a part of our mission. The College as a whole has a proven commitment to educating underrepresented minorities. In its 39 years of awarding degrees since 1972, the Graduate School has awarded 246 Ph.D.s in Biomedical Sciences. Therefore, it has a proven record of preparing students for research careers with a strong focus in diseases that disproportionally affect minorities. We have been the recipient of federally-funded underrepresented minority programs and have used these programs to contribute to the development of our students by providing competent research training coupled with excellent education opportunities. Continuing funding of the Meharry RISE program will allow us, together with other programs at Meharry, to provide the infrastructure and activities needed to continue to graduate more minorities in biomedical and behavioral science at the doctoral level.
Three specific aims are proposed in the current RISE application: 1) Provide excellent research training for URM students to successfully complete requirements for the Ph.D. degree;2) Provide students with a career development curriculum to strengthen the research career continuum of our trainees through the RISE Career Development Office;3) To facilitate the development of a national stakeholder's conference for all RISE programs. A set of well-defined activities has been developed to help transition Ph.D. students into research careers in biomedical sciences. These activities involve enhancement of student training with specialty courses such Molecular Methods, and development of a career development curriculum, as well as external research opportunities in laboratories of experts in the training areas of the Ph.D. RISE students. The overall objective of the Meharry RISE program is to provide students in the Graduate School at Meharry Medical College with enhanced opportunities to ensure their transition to successful and productive research careers.
Ethnic/racial minority populations are underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research. To address the nation's efforts to develop a nationwide cohort of scientists and a multi- disciplinary national pool of health disparities investigators to conduct research addressing health disparities, we propose a strong research training program at Meharry with qualified, energetic and committed faculty and a career development curriculum to facilitate their entry in biomedical research careers.
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