This proposal illustrates our unique interdisciplinary structure at North Carolina A&T State University;contributes to minority advancement in the biomedical sciences. Its primary aim is to increase minority participation in biomedical research through broadly based training programs for undergraduate science students. The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program will significantly enhance research training in the biology, chemistry, and psychology departments and motivate increased numbers of minority students to pursue biomedical science graduate degrees/careers. The proposed program will establish a quality interdepartmental and multi-phasic research training program designed to provide both training and support necessary to build a strong research community among MARC students and the larger community of science students. Such a community is pivotal to sustain an improved intellectual environment of shared expertise, research productivity, and student advancement to terminal degree programs and biomedical science careers. We propose to focus on undergraduate student and faculty development;broadly impacting science research education and advancement toward Ph.D. degrees. The proposal goals are: 1) Ensure that 100% of selected MARC U-STAR scholars are academically competitive and highly motivated to do research and subsequently earn a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences, 2) Increase the pool of motivated and competitive honor students in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Psychology committed to research and pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in the Biomedical Sciences. Goal focused developmental activities will include: 1) new course development, 2) a Summer Research Institute (SRI) for pre-sophomore students 3) a Supplemental Instruction for Excellence in Science Program, and 4) advanced training for students selected as MARC U-STAR scholars. The MARC U-STAR Scholars program includes: 1) required summer and academic year research experiences, 2) participation in weekly learning communities/seminars, 3) peer mentoring, 4) service learning, 5) opportunities for augmenting communication skills, and 6) GRE-test skills development. Consistent with the new direction of this application, the MARC program will create opportunities that build research training infrastructure within the departments and address health disparities. Thus, the number of non-MARC U-STAR students who pursue Ph.D.s will increase as a result of implementing this program.
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