The PREPing to a Biomedical PhD program presented here is designed to provide underrepresented minority students who have an aptitude for science with the motivation, academic tools, research skills, and self-confidence to pursue a PhD in biomedical science. Working closely with faculty advisors from partner schools in Texas that have a significant minority student enrollment, we will recruit 30 students (6/yr) to the program. Students may participate in one of our Summer Research Programs to gain basic research skills and then enter the PREP for up to a 2-year experience that provides extensive laboratory research training and special learning opportunities that build not only knowledge but also analytical and thinking skills. Immersion of the student in specially designed PREP activities will complement laboratory, departmental, and graduate student social and educational enrichment activities that will promote the scholar's motivation for a PhD. Students will have access to optimal faculty and peer counseling, tutoring, and other student support services. Special features of the Program involve the enhancement of core biomedical concepts and thinking skills, repeated reinforcement of responsible conduct of research, extensive counseling, close mentoring, continuous involvement of partner school advisors, and the option for successful PREP Scholars to enter a doctoral program of study at UTMB or another top-flight graduate school in advanced standing.
The specific aims of the proposed program are to: 1. Admit a total of 30 (6 each year) underrepresented minority baccalaureate graduates to the PREP program and prepare them for successful entry into our GSBS or another top flight graduate school. 2. Provide each PREP scholar an experienced GSBS faculty mentor whose research program is in an area of interest to the scholar. 3. Provide activities that form PREP scholars into a cohesive group while enhancing their development and building skills that will enable them to successfully complete a doctoral program 4. Provide frequent and extensive education in the responsible conduct of research. 5. Ensure the PREP scholars have optimal tutoring as well as personal and professional counseling. 6. Institute a tracking and evaluation system for the PREPing to a Biomedical PhD program.
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