We propose to enhance and optimize the MARC program that we successfully launched at Queens ollege 4 years ago. Queens College is a senior college of one of the largest urban universities in the country and is situated in the remarkably diverse borough of Queens. We have developed a program that, through emphasis on hands-on laboratory experience and close supervision and advisement of students, las proven successful based on the proportion of students pursuing or planning to pursue careers in biomedical research. Based on an ongoing assessment of our outcomes, we have modified our initial goals and tactics to achieve optimal success in achieving our measurable objectives. We propose to continue to optimize 1) our workshops on research basics, 2) our hands on research experience, including one summer at a Research 1 University;3) our intensive advisement and monitoring system;4) our insistence that students attend research colloquia and make presentations in front of their peers;and 5) our fostering of interaction between MARC students and other research students. One reflection of our success thus far has been the adoption by other programs at Queens College of our innovations for a poster day and for assessment. In our second five-year cycle, we plan to increase awareness of our program, and thus the size of the student pool from which we draw, by expanded advertising and outreach programs as well as a highly successful "Science For Starters" course. We will also increase financial incentives for pre-MARC students through a new College subsidy, expand our "tutoring for excellence" program, and establishing a MARC-pre-MARC buddy system. This latter initiative will get pre-MARC students into laboratories more quickly, will provide them with peer support, and will give our MARC students experience in mentoring. Throughout our proposed second cycle, we will maintain and expand our extensive assessment and documentation efforts to allow us to judge the impact of our program in terms of recruiting and student outcomes as well as our overall impact on the College. Our first four years have been successful in terms of students placed, prizes won at conventions, papers published or in preparation, and impact on our College and Division. Using the results from our outcomes assessments, we plan to continue to optimize both our training program, and its impact on our College and surrounding community.
This proposal is intended to increase the number of researchers in biomedical sciences who derive from under-represented minorities. The pool from which we draw is a major urban region, so that the graduates of our program are likely to return our investment by contributing to the number of researchers at major universities and medical schools in the region.
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