The University of Miami's (UM) IMSD program will have three broad impacts: 1) increase the number of underrepresented (UR) students who graduate with a Ph.D. in biomedical/behavioral-related disciplines;2) reduce differences in Ph.D. completion rates between URs and non-URs in those disciplines while increasing the overall rate;and 3) increase the number of UR Ph.D.s who enter competitive post-doctoral or faculty positions. For IMSD undergraduate scholars, our three goals are to increase their academic competitiveness, stimulate and sustain their interest in research, and increase the numbers who enter Ph.D. programs. A series of emerging scholars workshops in gate-keeper courses will improve academic performance. Exposure to research early in the freshman year in innovative research-based labs, followed by a mix of intramural and extramural research experiences will engender interest in research. Gaining parental support through Family Science Sunday, an intensive two-part workshop on applying to graduate school, and mentoring by IMSD graduate fellows will encourage transition to graduate programs. For IMSD graduate fellows, our two goals are to foster their completion of the Ph.D. in six years and to ensure they are competitive for a post-doctoral or tenure-track faculty position. Close mentoring through bi-weekly meetings with the IMSD leadership team and special workshops for professional development will enable fellows to meet these goals. We actively will recruit undergraduates in all biomedical/behavioral-related majors from UM's Program in Integrated Science and Math, from Miami-Dade County high schools, and from the Miami Dade College-UM Bridge program. We will recruit graduate fellows from among IMSD undergraduate scholars, at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conferences, and through faculty from minority-serving institutions assisting as "talent scouts." An Institutional Advisory Committee and an external evaluator will advise the two co-program directors. Formative evaluation will comprise focus groups, questionnaires, and monitoring student progress. Summative evaluation will track graduation rates and numbers proceeding to Ph.D.s or post- doctoral/faculty positions. We will disseminate best practices through presentations, publications, and a webinar using Web 2.0 technology.
The University of Miami IMSD Program is aimed at increasing the number of individuals from underrepresented groups who pursue Ph.D.s in the biomedical sciences. Undergraduate and graduate components provide research opportunities, enrichment, intergenerational mentoring, and professional development activities.
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