The University of Kentucky is a public, land grant institution that embraces its mission of excellence in teaching, research and service. All three of its campuses are committed to increasing the number of underrepresented students who choose and complete careers in biomedical research. Programs planned in this initiative represent a multi-level approach to attract, nurture, guide and subsequently equip program participants with the confidence, dedication/motivation and technical skills necessary to be a competitive biomedical scientist. Specifically, our arms are to: raise the level of awareness of the opportunities inherent in research careers; expose the minority students to highly motivated, captivating research role models; provide support for their growth and professional development; and, finally provide an opportunity to share their enthusiasm and scientific expertise with other students.
These aims will be accomplished by the initiation of a variety of activities embodied within four programmatic areas: Personal/Professional Development, Research Training, Research Support Services and Science Outreach Involvement. Undergraduates, graduates, MD-PhDs and post- professionals will be targeted to increase the numbers in the pipeline and to make those already committed more competitive. Substantial optimism exists for these programs owing to the success of many complementary programs currently operative within the Outreach Center for Science and Health Career Opportunities. This new initiative allows us to expand and add stability to some of our existing programs as well as embark on exciting, new interventions. Institutional commitment, level of on-going activity, and dedicated faculty and staff makes the University of Kentucky an ideal model to demonstrate that an integrated, multi-level approach can be successful in attaining cultural and ethnic diversity in the biomedical research environment.
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