The goal of this proposal is to increase the number of underrepresented students involved in biomedical sciences at Montclair State University by creating an environment conducive to research and learning. Although there are several research programs in which undergraduate students can participate, Montclair State University does not have a specific research program that focuses on developing and directing underrepresented minority students toward biomedical research. We propose to undertake a concerted effort to involve students in research and provide guidance and specific programs to ensure their success in entering graduate programs.
We aim to achieve these goals by establishing the following two programs:
Aim I : Establishment of a Pre-MARC Program, (a) Increasing awareness in students about the excitement of scientific research by (i) starting an outreach campaign that targets all incoming Montclair State University students;(ii) offering a """"""""Science for Starters Class,"""""""" introducing students to reading scientific articles;(iii) promoting interaction between Pre-MARC and MARC students through attendance at poster presentations given by MARC students and peer advising;and (iv) encouraging students to attend departmental seminars, (b) Increasing retention in the sciences and bringing the academic level of Pre-MARC students to MARC USTAR eligibility via: (i) academic advising;(ii) tutoring;and (iii) ensuring that Pre-MARC students are prepared to enter the MARC Program.
Aim II : Development of a MARC Program, The goal of this aim is to provide junior and senior students extensive research experience with appropriate guidance to succeed in graduate studies via: (a) Workshops on research ethics, literature searches, GRE exam preparation, and examination, analysis, and presentation of data, (b) Hands-on research experience in the form of laboratory rotations and research in a mentor's laboratory, (c) Monitoring of students'progress, by advisement, group meetings, student presentations, and written evaluations, (d) Increasing awareness about science by attending departmental colloquia, student presentations, and internal and external scientific meetings. To assess the success of the programs, we will undertake continuous evaluation of the programs. Evaluations will be gathered from the students, mentors, workshop coordinators, tutors, steering committee members, and the program director. The evaluator and an external advisory committee will review the data.