This project will create a Summer Research Program at the University of Oregon (UO), supporting 15 undergraduate students per year for 5 years for summer research projects. The program is designed to provide opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research projects that focus on child health and human development, with the long range goal of enhancing career opportunities for talented students in biomedical research. The principal aims of the program include contributing to national efforts to diversify the pool of highly trained biomedical researchers, enhancing access to research careers for students with limited access to research facilities and experience;and training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to be effective mentors. The PIs objectives for individual interns include: a) acquiring experience-based education in science research;b) developing appreciation of experimental approaches, strategic design, and creative reasoning;c) developing methodological skills;d) enhancing deductive and inductive reasoning skills;e) enhancing scientific communication skills;f) boosting personal confidence by professional and social interactions with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students, and g) gaining inspiration to pursue a career in biomedical research. The NICHD R25 Summer Research Program interns will be closely mentored by host faculty, and they will work side by side with graduate and postdoctoral researchers at the bench. Interns will have abundant opportunities to interact with faculty, postdocs, graduate students, UO undergraduates, and fellow interns in the NICHD R25 program and other campus summer research programs. This program would complement the PIs'current REU Program in Molecular Biosciences funded by the National Science Foundation. Program activities include, in addition to the closely mentored research project, a Mentoring Workshop, Welcoming Orientation for interns, mentors, and faculty, a Professional Development Workshop Series, a Faculty Seminar and Discussion Series, Intern Progress Reports, Feedback and Evaluation Meetings, a weekly Social hour, Field trips, cultural, social and recreational activities, an Undergraduate Research Symposium, and Program Evaluation.
The NICHD R25 Summer Research Program at the University of Oregon will train undergraduate researchers in a rigorous, comprehensive program and prepare them for graduate studies, with the aim of enhancing the caliber and diversity of the next generation of biomedical researchers. The research training projects have important implications for human health, including relevance for neural developmental disorders and birth defects, childhood language learning impairment and speech deficits, deaf-blindness, congenital heart defects, muscle rehabilitation, motoneuron diseases and injury, autism, and mental retardation.
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