The University of New Mexico is requesting funding for 5 years of support for the Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) program. In the 5-year period, UNM-IMSD will mentor ~ 75 UR undergraduates per year for graduate school in its research, mentoring, and education program. We estimate that ~ 80 - 90% of the graduating seniors in the regular IMSD program will enter graduate school and ~ 50% of the students in the targeted mentoring groups, many of whom will have transferred to our other undergraduate research programs. In addition to a classical undergraduate research program, the plan for this period is transformative and aimed at doubling the number of UR students who have access to research experience and are prepared for graduate school, beyond the students directly supported to do research.
The aims and objectives we propose for the next five years are:
Aim 1 : To contribute to PhD diversity by increasing the number of undergraduates supported by IMSD to 25 and sustaining the percentage of graduating IMSD-supported undergraduates prepared for research careers. The current IMSD program has developed a mentoring program that we believe has contributed to the increase in graduating seniors attending graduate school from 25% in 2004 to 80 - 90% for the past 3 years. To increase the number of UR students entering PhD programs, our objectives are to: 1) increase the number of IMSD undergraduate students at UNM from 18 to 25 while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students who enter graduate school. Students will also participate in: 2) a well-mentored research experience focused on developing key technical and intellectual skills;3) a 1-credit conference course Fall and Spring semesters that includes the IMSD mentoring program, including scientific writing (including preparation of a c.v., research proposal, and letter of intent), leadership training, an other activities aimed at preparing the students for a successful research career;4) a non-credit conference course during the summer, to provide new students an introduction to the program and team building;5) summer and academic-year research symposia at UNM;6) at least 8 hours of relevant course work in Responsible Conduct of Research over the 2-year period;7) research presentations at SACNAS and other national meetings;and 8) summer or short research experiences away from UNM. Through these efforts, we will significantly increase the number of students entering graduate school and completing PhDs.
Aim 2 : To increase the impact of UNM-IMSD at UNM and in New Mexico. We will increase the impact of our mentoring program and, thereby, significantly increase the numbers of UR students prepared for graduate school by 1) establishing 2, targeted mentoring groups of ~25 each as models of the "mentoring waterfall" approach: a Gates Scholars Group and Pre-Grad STEM Group for sophomores and transfer students;2) provide advising and tutoring support to students in mentoring waterfall;2) providing essential advising support to students in these students;3) teaching one-semester and short courses aimed at engaging more of the >2000 eligible UR STEM undergraduates at UNM;4) establishing an advisory group of senior advisors and PIs of student research programs throughout UNM to develop a more uniform mentoring plan at UNM. Milestones will include: 1) increasing the number of non-IMSD students involved in IMSD mentoring programs from 15 to 100+ in 4 years;2) increasing the number of senior UR students at UNM prepared to enter graduate school;and 3) addressing the unmet need among STEM UR students at UNM by improving accessibility to excellent mentoring.
Aim 3 : To broaden the impact of UNM-IMSD nationally. In this aim, senior PIs, program directors, and a select group of evaluators will be brought together to provide program advice and identify the explicit and implicit components that lead to success of all of our programs. This exercise will be documented and our results published. Evaluation: As in previous years, evaluations of IMSD students and a control group will be carried out to determine the success of each program element, to identify areas for improvement, and to provide information about enrollments, success, and challenges to the program and departments. Each of these objectives is aligned with the goals for IMSD programs and aimed at making sustainable increases in UR and URM graduate school enrollment and success.
UNM-IMSD is aimed at growing our successful mentoring, education, and research program to significantly increase the number of UR students from UNM prepared for graduate school. In addition, we propose to bring together the PIs of the most successful programs to compare and evaluate our programs to begin to understand the basis for our success and identify models that can be tested for replicating these programs nationally.
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