The overall goal of this proposed program is to bring greater diversity to positions of scientific leadership. Similar programs have long focused on increasing the ?pool? of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds by bridging skills gaps, but more recent research focused specifically on graduate-level biomedical training suggests that barriers to increasing diversity are more deeply rooted in the culture of biomedical training; thus, diversifying scientific leadership is a matter of improving and expanding inclusion. We will prepare IMSD fellows to be future scientific leaders by strengthening their sense of scientific identity, which we will achieve through both rigorous academic preparation and the cultivation of a community that values the rich experiences underrepresented students bring to the scientific enterprise. To start fellows on a path toward academic success for their graduate degree at UCSF, we will provide them with an excellent research environment, strong academic and personal mentors, and access to critical support during their first two years. To start fellows on a path toward career success after UCSF, we will provide them with exposure to the myriad workforce possibilities available to them and with tools to explore their career options as they progress through the degree program. To equip fellows with a robust personal and professional network of mutually supportive relationships, we will actively help them build their networks of mentors, advisors, and confidants. Finally, to develop a strong sense of scientific identity among the IMSD fellows, we will implement a series of co- curricular innovations to promote better alignment between personal and professional values, thus strengthening fellows? ability and desire to persist toward positions of scientific leadership.
The diversification of American scientific leadership is essential to the enrichment of both the talent engaged in and the quality of scientific research produced by the biomedical enterprise in the United States. This program will foster the next generation of diverse scientific leaders by strengthening their sense of scientific identity through rigorous academic preparation, the cultivation of a welcoming and inclusive community, and the conscious alignment of personal and professional values to encourage persistence toward positions of leadership in the biomedical workforce.
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