Diverse racial and ethnic groups, as well as individuals with disabilities and/or having socially, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented in neuroscience. Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and New York University (NYU) recognize that increasing the number of highly qualified neuroscientists from these underrepresented populations is integral to our future as academic and research institutions. Hunter College and NYU aim to increase the number of well-trained, diverse neuroscientists. BP-ENDURE at Hunter and NYU proposes to capitalize on and expand on the objectives and success of our first 5 years of BP-ENDURE funding, which has produced 15 program graduates in the program's first 4 years who have applied to and been offered admission to graduate school. Importantly, 100% of BP-ENDURE graduates from Hunter and NYU who have applied to doctoral programs were accepted. Some are at the best universities in the country, such as Harvard, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley, Brown, and Yale. The overall goal of this application is to develop a neuroscience training program at Hunter that will encourage and prepare students from diverse backgrounds to enter into and succeed in neuroscience PhD programs. To achieve this goal, Hunter College has developed a research-educational partnership with four outstanding T32-awarded universities-New York University, Brown University, University of Michigan, and Vanderbilt University. This partnership will expose 12 BP-ENDURE-trainee students per year to a research-intensive curriculum and an environment of excellence and active research. Moreover, because of the diversity of the proposed mentors, students will be exposed to a broad spectrum of researchers, including basic neuroscientists interested in central nervous system (CNS) issues and applied neuroscientists from the areas of clinical, social, health, developmental, computational, and cognitive neuropsychology. During this funding period, four developmental activities are proposed: (1) To develop an outstanding group of undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds dedicated to neuroscience research; (2) To provide scientific skills and research experiences to our trainees through research placement with actively funded neuroscientists in three different university settings, so as to expose students to laboratories that differ in scale, hierarchically, stylisticaly, and geographically; (3) To develop academic development and curriculum enhancement activities rooted in the student's research activities; and (4) To maintain an effective Administrative Core to support our students' needs and development. Our measurable objectives during the requested funding period include: (1) attaining 85 to 90% acceptance of trainees to graduate school programs in neuroscience; (2) improving our students' quantitative skills and academic achievements, as well as their (3) scientific writing (of research and grants) and oral presentation skills. Outcome from evaluations of the Steering Committee, the external evaluator, and the Administrative Core will guide future modifications to our training initiatives.
Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York University, Brown University, University of Michigan, and Vanderbilt University recognize the need for increasing the number of highly qualified neuroscientists from diverse backgrounds. Through partnership between these institutions, we aim to continue our successful undergraduate neuroscience training program that prepares students from diverse backgrounds to enter into and succeed in PhD programs in the neurosciences.
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