Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN): Student Training through Institutional Partnerships will bridge the Neuroscience research participation gap by preparing diverse undergraduates in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest Region for successful entry to Neuroscience Ph.D. programs. BRAiN unites preexisting formal research and education programs at diverse institutions: the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Colorado Denver in the Anschutz Medical Campus (NSP at UCD-AMC), home to a T32 Neuroscience Training Grant;the RISE to Excellence biomedical research education program at New Mexico State University (NMSU), a Hispanic serving minority institution;and the undergraduate Brain and Behavior program of the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado Denver downtown campus (UCD-DT). BRAiN aspires to expand through developmental partnerships with Colorado State University- Pueblo and other colleges in the region. Broad participation in the Ph.D. Neuroscience/Behavior pipeline will be enabled through pursuit of three specific aims: (1) Recruitment of 67 BRAiN Scholars from diverse demographic groups that are nationally underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral neuroscience research;(2) Development of the Neuroscience/Behavior research expertise and professional skills of BRAiN Scholars;(3) Retention of BRAiN Scholars in Neuroscience/Behavior research through enrolment in postgraduate programs. BRAiN will provide intensive training that combines mentored independent research with student development of a rich knowledge base in Neuroscience core concepts. Curriculum integration will be achieved through a common Neuroscience Seminar Series and a Neuroscience Core Course. Emphasis will be placed on enhancement of mentorship skills through activities such as the Neuroscience Mentor Academy where faculty will meet to discuss student training, program evaluation, and curriculum reform. Taken together, proposed activities will provide an integrated research and professional development experience across multiple sites that leverages 21st century resources for scientific investigation and is responsive to practical aspects of contemporary student life.
Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN): Student Training through Institutional Partnerships will fulfill the goal of RFA-MH-10-070 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-10-070.html) to encourage and prepare undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to enter Ph.D. degree programs in the Neurosciences. This is an important goal because as stated in the RFA, demographic profiles from the NSF and reports from the National Academies reveal the national need for developing a well-trained workforce in biomedical and behavioral sciences and the continuing importance of developing a strong, vital scientific workforce whose diversity reflects that of our nation.
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