The purpose of this IMSD at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health is to increase the diversity of students who receive doctoral training in public health and contribute to public health research focusing on groups that experience disparities in health. The initiative supports a total of 10 doctoral students enrolled in four participating departments of the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences and Sociomedical Sciences. The goals of the program are to: (1) increase the number of under-represented students in the doctoral programs of the Mailman School of Public Health. Special emphasis will be placed on departments with historically low enrollment of minority students, which will result in a significant increase in the diversity of the student body; (2) develop students' scholarship and grant-writing skills; (3) develop research and professional skills by involving students in research and scientific activities; (4) create an environment that stresses under-represented students' strengths and competencies, and the value of ethnic diversity in research and science; and (5) enhance the timely completion of doctoral study among under-represented students. A number of developmental activities will be undertaken to strengthen students' research skills and development. These include: a seminar course that provides workshops on techniques and coping strategies for success in graduate school, scientific writing, research career and professional development; research placements characterized by strong mentoring relationships with research mentors; attendance at scientific conferences; a tailored advisory program; and multiple interactions with Mailman School faculty, IMSD alumni and graduates. It is anticipated that upon graduation, students who complete this IMSD program will enter academic and research-oriented careers.
The National Institutes of Health recognizes the need for a diverse workforce to address the nation's most pressing public health problems. The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health responds to this call by providing an education project for under-represented students that includes various strategies to address barriers in pursuing and successfully completing graduate-level education. The ultimate aim of our program is to create a cadre of researchers whose work will help to address health disparities in the United States.
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