The primary goal of the research training program is to continue to immerse highly competent and motivated minority predoctoral students in a rich research setting pertaining to environmental and occupational health sciences for the purpose of attracting them into pursuing research careers in these and related disciplines. To achieve this goal, a number of specific objectives permeate the structure and function of the Short-Term Research Training Program. These objectives include: 1) Identifying and enlisting bright minority college students with academic potential, into a short-term research experience in the environmental and occupational health sciences; 2) Creating a set of meaningful research experiences in which the students engage in critical thinking and assume responsibility in environmental health research projects in order to expose them to possible future careers in environmental health research; 3) Providing a broad learning experience for participating students to enable them to draw links between the environment in which they live and the health outcomes in their communities and be able to relate these issues to the disciplines of occupational health, toxicology, epidemiology and public policy; 4) Exposing students to the issues of Environmental Justice and Health Disparities and encourage their involvement; 5) Encouraging contact between the students and their mentors, who serve as career role models; and 6) Tracking students in the years following their participation in the training program to assess their career choices as a measure of the success of the program. These objectives are consistent with Mount Sinai's existing efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minority individuals in health sciences careers. These efforts are essential to identify and recruit potential applicants to the areas of environmental health science. Programs that socialize the target population towards these areas at a time when they are making career choices are critical in training the students in the language, skills and knowledge of the scientific enterprise and can eventually draw them to these research careers.
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