The goal of the proposed Increasing Minority Admissions to Research Institutions (IMARI) program is to increase the pool of competitive disadvantaged students electing to pursue advanced biomedical research careers. The IMARI program will provide: a) an early academic intervention component - providing educational enhancement through an After-School Academic Reinforcement and Enrichment (ASARE) program;b) a mentoring and advising component for freshman students, available to them through graduation;c) for research: an in-house pre-research training program and an off-campus biomedical research training aspect. Additionally, participants will be exposed to top researchers through a Visiting Scientist program;d) a forum for science faculty to develop their critical thinking skills. It is expected that 60% of participants in the IMARI program will matriculate into graduate programs.
The IMARI program will be administered at Oakwood University which has a history of producing large numbers of minority undergraduates in the biological sciences. According to a report in Online Diverse Issues in Higher Education (2010), Oakwood College was ranked in the Top Twenty among HBCUs graduating students in the Biomedical Sciences, many of whom go on to achieve MD, MD/PhD. and PhD degrees in the biomedical sciences. The proposed project aims to increase the number of students in underrepresented groups in biomedical and behavioral research who successfully complete PhD degrees in these fields and who are prepared for competitive research careers and leadership positions in public health.