St. Thomas University proposes to initiate an office of Sponsored Research and a Research Development plan, as outlined by the Extramural Associates program. Previously a small teaching institution, St. Thomas University is now engaged in an historic expansion to include research and technology training, including a new, privately funded Science building and increased emphasis on research for faculty. As a Minority Serving Institution, St. Thomas University is uniquely positioned to advance minority students into biomedical and behavioral science training and careers, is pleased to nominate of the proposed candidate for the EA trainee. The nominee has an outstanding track-record of faculty leadership and collaboration, experience in research and grant-writing, and a commitment to promoting minority student access to the science training and careers, and community partnership activities. This nominee is a leader in promoting research, multicultural awareness, and minority student involvement in science training. The institution, St. Thomas University (STU), is a minority serving institution with a diverse student body offering a unique potential to advance minority student training in the sciences. STU is committed to strong institutional support for the EA program and trainee, including the provision of appropriate authority, budgeting, space and staff to support the goals of the program. The Institutional Plan highlights specific plans to create an Office of Sponsored Research infrastructure at St. Thomas University where none currently exists, as well as a strong Research Development Plan (a series of awards to increase faculty research and grant-writing). An innovative """"""""Research Associates Program"""""""" will engage undergraduate students to assist with faculty research projects to increase opportunities for these minority students to enter the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Letters of support are included to underscore the qualifications of the nominee and to affirm the commitment of St. Thomas University to the EA program. Overall, the choice of a highly qualified trainee candidate, the strong commitment of the institution, and the comprehensive Research Development plan designed to grow faculty research and minority student involvement, together make this an ideal time and site to receive this EA program grant opportunity.