Temple University was ranked first in undergraduate diversity in 2007 highlighting the opportunity to expand the pipeline of underrepresented minority students (URM) in the biomedical and behavioral sciences (BMBS) entering Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. programs. Rising juniors will be selected as MARC trainees by demonstrating high academic achievement and interest in BMBS research. Trainees will enter a research mentor's laboratory in the summer following the junior year after participation in a week-long introductory workshop on research and responsible conduct. Trainees will continue working on research projects during their junior year. They will spend the senior summer engaged in research at an outside institution. Critical to the success of our program is the recruitment and retention of potential MARC trainees during the 1st and 2nd years at Temple. Our MARC pipeline program will identify and recruit high aptitude URM entering undergraduates in the relevant majors and provide academic and peer support to assure their success and persistence as potential MARC trainees. The University will provide summer internships for these students, a proven way to retain and enhance their academic performance. Our MARC program will focus on several components shown to be central to success including: early research exposure, identification of peer cohort, academic planning and support including information about career options and opportunities, workshops for targeted skills in entry courses to the major, exposure to the scientific research community and increased involvement and support of family members. The MARC program incorporates a strategy of evaluation and assessment to objectively measure improvements in outcomes such as academic achievement, research communication skills, and identification with the BMBS field. The MARC program will track increases in the number of internships/fellowships, authoring and publication of peer reviewed research papers, and acceptances into highly competitive graduate programs for the selected students relative to comparable peers.
If successful, the public benefit will be the existence of a model program to increase recruitment, retention, and achievement of underrepresented students in the sciences and to promote greater diversity among BMBS research professionals.
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