This program is designed to provide interim positions for under-represented minority students and students from disadvantaged groups with post- baccalaureate degrees interested in pursuing graduate education. The focus is on research training under a strong research mentor who will provide a supportive laboratory environment to develop the trainee's potential for a career in biomedical research. The Program Director will work with trainees for assignment to mentors according to their stated interests and interviews with faculty they select. Recruitment will be by visiting area minority institutions, national mailings and attendance at national minority conferences, a web site, and contact with students involved in other research training programs at the institution. The program takes advantage of broad, multidisciplinary research activities at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (WFUSM) and the commitment of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts &Sciences to increase diversity. Goals and objectives: 1) increase the number of minority students entering graduate programs at WFUSM from 13% to 18% over five years;2) maintain retention of minority graduate students comparable to majority students;3) increase GRE scores of participants to increase their credentials for graduate programs;and 4) have 100% of the participants apply, 75% enter a PhD or MD/PhD program and 60% enter programs at WFUSM. The program includes the opportunity for coursework to strengthen the academic scientific background, based on area of interest and prior strengths and weaknesses. Other courses/information will be provided to improve GRE scores, introduce responsible conduct of science, improve application and resume preparation, and inform on biomedical graduate programs at WFUSM in particular and graduate education in general. We will introduce biomedical research via hands-on participation in a research project and critical scientific evaluation and presentation of journal articles by participation in a journal club. Scientific writing and speaking is developed by writing abstracts and presentation of the research project as a slide and poster presentation each year at the PREP Symposium and lecture. Students will be exposed to research faculty, both basic science and clinical, to foster a long-term commitment to pursue a career in the biomedical sciences through an experience that exemplifies the excitement and challenges of research. Evaluation by students, including former participants, and mentors will be performed annually. This program is a post-baccalaureate research training program designed to provide interim positions for under-represented minority students and students from disadvantaged groups to participate in research projects and academic skills develop to encourage entry into a PhD program.
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