The long-term goals of the proposed program are to increase the number of minority students entering and successfully completing PhD programs in the Biomedical Sciences and achieving research careers. Toward this aim we have achieved the goals we set from the beginning of our first grant in 2004, graduating 97% with honors, placing 72 % of our MARC students in higher education, placing 36% directly into doctoral programs, publishing 17 papers, and developing programs that have inspired our College and led it to incorporate our innovations into College-wide programs. Our students have won several prizes and been accepted into prestigious institutions. We have nevertheless identified remaining weaknesses in the preparation and growth of our students. The rationale of the proposal is continue the successful mentoring and heavy research involvement of our program, while at the same time addressing the weaknesses, primarily students'doubt in the practicality of a research career path and lack of understanding of the overall expectations for researchers. We intend to improve our performance by first expanding our mentoring to include more facets of a research career to emphasize the many possibilities for a doctoral-level researcher;second, expanding our outreach to the families of the students and more aggressively involving them in the highlights and ceremonies of the MARC experience. Third, we will initiate a "talk across disciplines" in which students will learn how their research relates to questions from other disciplines, in the process creating a more cohesive atmosphere and preparing the students for future flexibility. We will increase our writing and presentation workshops, introduce a research seminar series on Translational Research and one on Careers in Research, and make other adjustments as suggested by formal and informal feedback from our students and faculty. Our administration is pleased with our progress and is eager to see our program expand. The proposed program is designed for 5 years, with 12 trainees per year (approximately 6 juniors and 6 seniors each year).
The MARC U-STAR program at Queens College is proposing to increase the number of minority PhD-holding teachers and researchers by building on our current successful program. This goal is important to develop a larger number of competent researchers and mentors, to add to the nation's potential and to inspire students from minority backgrounds, a growing population whose recruitment will substantially improve health services for this community. Our program is based on deep research involvement of the students, intense involvement of the faculty and continual interaction with students and their families, and constant multifaceted self-evaluation.
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