The dearth of minority biomedical research professionals stems from the paucity of minority undergraduate students who are academically competitive candidates for graduate school; and, from the perception, even among well-qualified minority students, that the research community does not welcome minority participation. To remedy these problems, we will create a coherent, coordinated series of activities to support and encourage minority students academically and financially from the freshman undergraduate year through the second year of graduate school. Academic excellence will be cultivated in young undergraduates through a challenging, structured academic program of supplemental course work in chemistry and calculus, the gate-keepers to success in biology studies, while more advanced students will have their academic skills stimulated and honed through a series of coordinated academic enrichment activities. Beginning minority graduate students will be encouraged to persevere in attaining research careers by providing them with academic, financial, and personal support in the first two years of graduate school; a time during which many talented students become discouraged and leave graduate school due to lack of such support. Because students learn best by doing, and because student interest in research careers in kindled through laboratory work, student involvement in biomedical research will be a key program element at each level. We will create investigative partnerships between research faculty and minority students; such intensive interactions will develop the students' investigative skills, demonstrate that research is a viable career option, and will increase the number of non-minority faculty who can serve as productive mentors for minority students.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-MBRS-9 (01))
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University of California Davis
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