This proposal entitled Neuroscience Research Opportunities to Increase Diversity (NeuroID) from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus aims to increase the opportunities available for undergraduate students in the area of Neurosciences. The proposal makes use of the strong Neuroscience expertise among UPR investigators and fortifies the underlying neuroscience network that joins undergraduate students, island investigators and their collaborators in mainland institutions. The main goal of the proposal is to increase the number of Hispanic scientists in the Neurosciences by establishing a cohort of interested students that will receive academic and professional training in neuroscience-related research and developmental activities. The core of the program is a comprehensive research experience for undergraduate students based on three teaching philosophies: student-citizen, service-learning and research with a purpose. The training program consists of three major components: (1) Research Experience - An intense research experience during the academic year and a summer experience in a laboratory at an institution in the mainland USA, such as Harvard, Yale, Univ. Colorado Denver, Univ. of Vermont, Northwestern University, Univ. Miami, that have active T32 training grants in neuroscience and/or excellent track record in recruiting and training underrepresented minorities. (2) Academic training participation in seminars, workshops and selected courses to enhanced their knowledge in neurobiology, and understanding of a research career. (3) Student development activities - Participants will enter a mentoring program that includes community outreach activities, scientific writing and oral presentations and other professional enhancement activities. The proposed activities together with an established mentoring program with members of the Neuroscience community will serve to increase the student competitiveness and enhance their interest in continuing a research career in neuroscience. The NeuroID program will extend the impact of other successful programs at the University of Puerto Rico, not only by focusing on the Neuroscience field but also by greatly expanding the number of possible mentors, increasing the pool of available applicants as well as providing an inclusive and broader training program.
The population of the US is over 14% Hispanic a number which is projected to grow in the coming years. However, Hispanics involvement in biomedical research is highly limited. This proposal addresses the need for training the next generation of Hispanic scientists and for an increase in the number of Hispanics in biomedical research.
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