Between 2000-2014, 50% of PhDs were awarded to Whites, 7.7% to African Americans, 5.4% to Hispanics and 0.7% to American Indians or Alaska Natives (NIGMS, 2011). The long-term goal of the proposed Summer Research Education Program (SREP) is to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups, individuals with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds into biomedical and behavioral science careers. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), The University of Texas Arlington (UTA), Southern Methodists University (SMU) and The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) will carryout an approach that contrasts with traditional silo-institution summer programs. SREP will provide a network of diverse institutional cultures that will broaden access to: 1) resources (e.g. students, infrastructure and programs); 2) mentoring networks for applying to and making decisions of graduate schools; and 3) cutting-edge research experiences that complement the mission of NIDA. To address our objective, we have developed three aims as follows:
Aim 1 Provide trainees an additional 10-week intensive research training experience for 10 Scholars interested in multi-disciplinary research aligned with NIDA's mission and strategic plan.
Aim 2 Provide academic interventions considering multiple factors influencing trainees' persistence.
Aim 3 Implement a mentee-mentor network beyond the Scholar's 10-week experience which will sustain the Scholars persistence along their career path. The expected impact is to be an established model where institutions share, develop and implement common best practices from lessons learned from SREP.
This program address the significant gap in the number of underrepresented minority groups, disadvantaged populations and individuals with disabilities that enter biomedical and behavioral science careers. This program will provide undergraduate students interested in pursuing NIDA-related research, a 10- week summer research experience in a mentor-guided laboratory. The expectation is an increase in the number of diverse and highly motivates students attaining biomedical degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.