The University of Chicago (UC) Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) is designed to provide research training and educational opportunities for newly admitted PhD graduate students from groups underrepresented (UR) in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and for non-UR students who would benefit from IMSD opportunities. The Program is tiered to focus intervention and developmental activities to match the background preparation, research experience, and learning styles of individual students as well as their stage of progression in graduate school. Students will join the IMSD in the Summer term at the point of entry to graduate studies, complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that will serve as the roadmap for each student's course over their tenure in the University of Chicago IMSD, and participate in a boot camp that will prepare them for the rigors of a UC graduate education. Navigation through rotations and coursework, as well as developing communication and coping skills will be facilitated through Interactive Learning Modules (ILMs) and augmented by peer and faculty mentoring. Support from the Program is provided for years one and two of graduate school. Students will remain members of the IMSD program while advancing to completion of the PhD, benefitting from ILMs designed to hone scientific skills, enhance leadership skills, develop professional and networking skills and explore career options. Although the Program will be highly structured and logically organized, it also will be customizable depending on each student's needs. Concomitantly, faculty will be actively engaged to improve their mentoring skills, while all stakeholders work together toward a more diverse community of scholars. The ultimate success of the IMSD Program will be measured by completion of the students'PhD programs, their long-term success as biomedical scientists, and an increase in the diversity of the biomedical research community over time.
The long-range goal of the University of Chicago Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) is to help diversify the scientific workforce. The IMSD provides research training and educational opportunities for newly admitted PhD graduate students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, both before and during their progression through graduate school. To assess the success of this endeavor, the participants'progress will be followed throughout their graduate programs and subsequent career paths.