The mission of the Research Enrichment Core (REC) is to enrich the research experience of underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate students at Morgan State University, aligned with the overal goal of the BUILD inititative of increasing diversity of the biomedical research career workforce. The REC focuses on three main strategies in order to enrich research: 1) Facilitate and support the Students' Scientific Research Center's (SSRC) activities;2) Conduct a Summer Research Institute (SRI), with a focus on introduction to multidisciplinary research in the health sciences, choosing research topics, and writing an initial grant proposal;and 3) Offer adequate mentoring after the SRI for improving proposals, conducting research, analysing statistical data, and writing. The initial exposure of many of our students to interdisciplinary biomedical research will be through engagement in the SSRC. It's expected that 50 students from each incoming cohort at Morgan State University will become members of the SSRC. The second phase of exposure of students to research will be through their enrollment in the Summer Research Institute. In the SRI, the students will receive training in multiple biomedical research disciplines (e.g., biology, public health, psychology, and sociology), will learn about multidisciplinary research, and will learn how research ideas are formed. The REC, in collaboration with the Student Training Core, will select 30 students for each annual Summer Research Institute. After an SRI ends, the Student Training Core, in collaboration with the REC, will select 20 students each year as ASCEND scholars. Training in the REC is focused directly on research-related activities, such as proposal writing during the SRI, enriching the proposal after SRI, and making sure that the students receive adequate mentoring and support during the execution of their project, in the analysis of data, and in writing and preparing reports and publications.
The REC aims to improve the quality and quantity of biomedical research conducted by URM undergraduates on health issues while providing research training opportunities to faculty and students. In so doing, health sciences fields will benefit from the enhanced capacity for conducting biomedical research and improved scientific knowledge, along with the potential for reduced health disparities.