We seek continuation of the University of Kansas (KU) IMSD program, a program whose underrepresented scholars are enrolling in graduate programs in the sciences at more than twice the national average, and that has succeeded in bringing five American Indians into PhD programs. KU IMSD works in concert with other MORE programs (Bridge, PREP, RISE, IRACDA) and takes full advantage of the juxtaposition of a Research I Institution (KU) and one of the largest tribal colleges (Haskell Indian Nations University). KU IMSD consists of four components: 1) mentored research experiences for American Indian and other scholars currently underrepresented in the sciences, with a particular focus on recruiting scholars from the KU / Haskell Bridge program;2) enhancements to the science and math curriculum;3) IMSD seminar program and 4) providing mentoring (academic and career) and financial support. The undergraduate research experience takes a broad, interdisciplinary approach to placing IMSD scholars into one of 80 possible KU labs and requires students to share their research results at local and national meetings. KU's agreement to institutionalize curricular enhancements in core biology, chemistry, and math courses that were developed by our previous IMSD programs allows for continuation of these highly successful programs and the development of a new "Transitions in Mathematics" course for transfer students. A mandatory five semester seminar series includes a responsible conduct of research course and a required application to graduate school. Wages for KU IMSD scholars conducting undergraduate research will be a cornerstone in providing financial support along with KU scholarships targeted for American Indian students. Mentoring will be provided by the faculty research mentor, the IMSD Program Coordinator (individual and group meetings) and peers (senior IMSD scholars). Evaluation of measurable objectives will be carried out by an external evaluator with the assistance of the internal evaluator. Evaluation and tracking procedures allow for regular adjustment of activities during the course of the program and assessment of whether goals have been met. Continuation of the KU IMSD will maintain the momentum established by these KU / Haskell collaborations and significantly impact the number of American Indian scientists in this country.
- Relevance The proposed project will increase the diversity of the scientific community by preparing American Indians and other underrepresented students for graduate study and careers in biomedical research. The project will increase the size of the scientific workforce and increase interest in research regarding diseases with a high incidence in minority populations with the potential to improve both health care and disease prevention in this country.
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