The long-term goal of our ADAR Program is the increased diversity of MSTEM students that pursue graduate degrees and research careers in aging-related areas. For this, we propose to enhance the UC Davis ADAR Scholars Program, a comprehensive three-year program with two major components. The first is the one-year ADAR Program, which will support eight diverse sophomore students selected from the freshmen participating in our pre-ADAR program [the Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program]. This component is designed to enhance retention, foster academic excellence, and kindle interest and engagement in aging research; it involves course work, advising, and research experience. The second component, the ADAR-Honors Program (ADAR-HR), is a research-intensive two-year program designed to encourage and support eight diverse juniors and seniors to matriculate into aging-related graduate programs. ADAR-HR provides a two-year research-intensive experience, including one summer at another institution. It will promote student retention and academic excellence through activities that facilitate social and academic integration and scientific identity formation within a supportive peer group; it will engage students in research as well as in discussions of aging research topics, integrity in research, and experimental design. It will also provide them with career information, experience in proposal writing and oral and written scientific presentations, and guidance in the graduate school application process. To achieve these goals, ADAR-HR will have four main components: advising, research experience, professional development, and community activities that enhance science identity formation and provide important sources of social support. ADAR-HR has the following measurable objectives: (1) Four diverse juniors per year will be recruited into ADAR-HR; (2) Ninety percent of ADAR-HR students will graduate in an MSTEM field with a GPA ? 3.25; (3) ADAR-HR students will have increased expertise as student researchers with respect to understanding experimental design and data interpretation in aging-research areas; (4) ADAR-HR students will develop professional communication skills by presenting their research locally and nationally; (5) ADAR-HR students will develop awareness of graduate program application processes; (6) ADAR-HR students will develop scientific identity through storytelling and outreach activities; (7) The majority (>50%) of ADAR-HR students will matriculate into graduate programs involving aging- related research within two years of receiving their Bachelor's degree.
The overall goal of the UC Davis ADAR Scholars Program is to diversify the workforce in aging research by supporting undergraduate competency and completion of MSTEM degrees and increasing the number of diverse students entering graduate study in aging-related MSTEM fields. We have developed a series of activities for underrepresented, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and disabled undergraduates. These activities are designed to help the students develop their scientific identity, kindle interest in aging research, and to facilitate the development of their professional skills in preparation to excel in graduate programs and careers in aging science.