Spelman College is a private research-active, historically Black liberal arts college that is a leader in the education of women of color, particularly in the areas of science, mathematics, and engineering. Academic excellence is the heart of the College's mission, in that Spelman women are encouraged to think critically and creatively and to refine their communicative, quantitative, and technological skills. As a result, for the last 10 years, Spelman has been ranked second in the country as baccalaureate institution of origin of Black doctorate recipients. Despite this success, it is well known that in the sciences women are still underrepresented at the PhD level and beyond;for minority women, the data are even worse. The current application enhances aspects of our existing RISE program that have had clear positive outcomes, and introduces new facets to the program, particularly in the area of academic enrichment and preparation for advanced study, so that students can matriculate and graduate from research-intensive Ph.D. programs.
Aim 1. To increase student awareness of biomedical research and to encourage students to pursue a career in research, our main focus is the Summer Research Training Program - where we expect at least 50% of rising sophomores to engage in research during the academic year.
Aim 2. To develop empirical research knowledge and skills of students so that they will be prepared for the rigor of the advanced research training of doctoral programs, our main focus is the Research Development Program, where RISE Scholars work in research labs with selected faculty mentors - we expect students to demonstrate their knowledge of research through conference presentations and written reports.
Aim 3. To increase the number of students going directly to Ph.D. research programs, by making them more competitive for admission. Our central focus is the sequence of research education modules entitled Critical Skills for Investigation (CSI), which are designed to focuses on critical thinking, quantitative skills, research design, reading comprehension, and scientific writing - we expect that the percentage of RISE graduates going directly into doctoral programs will increase to 30% in Year 1, and reach at least 50% by Year 3.
HBCU's have a critical role to play in impacting the current underrepresentation of minority women in the biomedical research pipeline. Currently women and minorities are severely underrepresented among the nation's biomedical scientists. As a historically black research active college Spelman College seeks to address this disparity. The current proposal will continue to prepare black women for doctoral programs as they pursue biomedical research careers.
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