The Summer Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health Related Research (SPIDR) aims to increase the supply of underrepresented individuals who pursue advanced training in biomedical and health- related fields. Students are provided with opportunities to explore research and health-related science at a timely period in their career decision-making, by participating in stimulating, hands-on laboratory experiences supervised by full-time Medical College of Wisconsin investigators. College undergraduates and first year medical students from diverse populations that have been shown by the NSF to be underrepresented in health related sciences on a national basis are recruited from local, state and national college campuses for a 10-week period during the summer. Participants are guided in developing investigative knowledge and skills that may elevate their current or potential research interests and enthusiasm, while also equipping them with valuable tools to achieve future career goals and pursue learning as a lifelong process. Exposures to positive professional role models, mentors and resources foster self confidence and aid the successful matriculation into medical and/or graduate school programs. SPIDR is an important component of the portfolio of pipeline programs offered by the Medical College for high school, college undergraduates and medical student trainees.
SPIDR aims : 1) to provide participants with stimulating training experiences in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic or sleep research, under the mentorship of extramurally funded, full-time Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) faculty, 2) to expose participants to a broad spectrum of stimulating clinical, basic science and translational research modalities in various medical and biomedical disciplines, 3) to provide participants with career information in biomedical research and the health sciences (emphasizing cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic and sleep related disciplines), guidance and educational resources that will help them prepare and qualify for entry into advanced academic programs in the sciences and research careers, 4) to provide participants with opportunities to develop investigative skills that will benefit their future learning and career endeavors, and 5) to provide participants with experiences and faculty and peer mentoring that build self-confidence and foster positive attitudes toward learning. Trainees participate on a full-time basis, during customary day-time hours and evening and weekend hours that may be required by a specific research project. Research project activities occupy approximately 60% of each Trainee's time;however, a typical week also incorporates time for library research and scientific reading (15%), research discussions with the faculty preceptor and project team, active participation at the MCW summer undergraduate seminar program (15%), and weekly socialization with diversity students enrolled in MCW degree programs (10%). This schedule optimizes the time available for faculty mentoring and individual interactions with closer-to-peer aged student mentors. The goal is to work one-on-one with each student to help them map out a plan for advancing to the next step in their academic path and providing them with the tools they need to get there. This shepherding process has contributed to SPIDR's very positive outcomes over the past 10 years, in which 58.6% (62/116) trainees have either graduated or are enrolled in biomedical or health related fields. 7. Project Narrative: The Summer Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health Related Research is significant, because it has the potential to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and the number of culturally, economically or socially disadvantaged individuals who choose to pursue biomedical fields, by providing hands-on research experiences that otherwise would not be available to these students.
The Summer Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health Related Research is significant, because it has the potential to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and the number of culturally, economically or socially disadvantaged individuals who choose to pursue biomedical fields, by providing hands-on research experiences that otherwise would not be available to these students.