The long-term objective of the proposed program is to prepare underrepresented minority (URM) scholars with baccalaureate degrees to enter and successfully complete research-oriented doctoral programs in biomedical and behavioral sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI). The program will develop the strategic research and critical thinking skills necessary for success in these fields through both intensive research apprenticeships and enrichment experiences in scientific writing, effective communication, project development, workload management, and other areas of professional development. Specifically, we will (1) identify and select eight promising post-baccalaureate URM individuals per year who earned undergraduate degrees in biomedical or behavioral sciences, (2) provide a rigorous individualized academic and professional development plan that prepares each individual for admission and success in one of five targeted PhD programs available at Indiana University and Purdue University, and (3) provide no less than one year of research experience with an active science faculty mentor working in an area relevant to the individuals'career interests. The five targeted areas are Medical Neuroscience, Psychobiology of Addictions, Clinical Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, and Human Performance. A scaffolded individualized development plan (IDP) will be developed for each scholar and organized through an innovative electronic portfolio. The research internship will begin after several short-term laboratory rotations. Professional development activities will be carefully timed and directed to improving analytical ability, writing skills, oral expression, ad responsible conduct of research as the student prepares for graduate admission. Transdisciplinary work will be emphasized. Course work will be individualized following a careful assessment by the program faculty. A ten-member advisory committee will meet three times a year to assist the program directors in guiding the program and to assess student progress. Program evaluation will occur through formative and summative assessments, and assessments by an external evaluator.
This application will prepare members of underrepresented minority populations to enter graduate school in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Students will be trained in areas of interest to the national health, including areas related to wa injuries (traumatic brain injury, psychobiology of addictions and its clinical treatment, orthopaedic injuries and movement disorders). Also a more diverse research workforce is expected to improve research productivity and sharpen the focus on health disparities and health issues that disproportionately affect minority populations.