For over 30 years, the NIGMS MBRS programs have been active on the UTSA campus and have been instrumental in training students who pursue doctoral training and developing student research infrastructure. Over this time, UTSA has matured, with dramatic increases in the number of research faculty, doctoral degree programs, and extramural funding and a goal of developing into a Tier 1 research institution. Since 2007 UTSA has graduated 287 doctoral students in majors that serve the biomedical and behavioral sciences, of whom 62 were UR;19 of these were RISE trainees. At the same time, 33 former RISE undergraduate and master's students entered doctoral program and 20 trainees from prior years received their doctorates. The present proposal features activities and goals that complement directives of the UTSA Strategic Plan and associated initiatives, particularly Initiative #1: Enriching Educational Experiences to Enable Student Success, which encompasses the success of underrepresented undergraduate research trainees. The long- term goal of the UTSA RISE program continues to be the development of exceptional underrepresented researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The goals of the proposed program are to increase the pipeline of students interested in biomedical research as a career, enhance existing training strategies and activities to promote student matriculation into more advanced stages of scientific training, and broaden program impact on the UTSA campus and community. We will achieve our objectives by pursuing three specific aims:
Aim #1 - Enhance existing and implement new outreach and training activities to promote awareness of biomedical/behavioral research as a career and the development of pre-RISE, pre-PhD undergraduate populations;
Aim #2 - Enhance existing and implement new activities to develop RISE undergraduate and PhD trainees, to promote their preparedness for the next stage of their research education;
and Aim #3 - Develop activities that broaden access to research and promote student and faculty research skills at UTSA. In addition to refining existing activities, w employ innovative mechanisms for RISE trainee recruitment and retention, as well as promote the development of an undergraduate research culture. The rationale for the proposed interventions is that they will promote UTSA and NIGMS goals of increasing the number of URM students who pursue doctorates and launch into academic careers. Program Measurable Objectives include 50% undergraduate matriculation, 90% doctoral trainee retention;two additional underrepresented students entering doctoral training annually;and 80% of PhD students will submit major grants and matriculate to postdoctoral training in research intensive institutions.
Increasing the number of American researchers from scientifically-underrepresented but demographically prevalent groups is critical for future scientific and technological advancement in the United States. Here we propose activities that will support recruitment, training, retention and matriculation of underrepresented research scientists into doctoral training, postdoctoral positions, and successful careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. As a broader impact, the RISE program will also advance undergraduate research at the university level and promote the development of UTSA, a Hispanic Serving Institution, as a Tier One research institution.
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