The Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA) operates under the aegis of The University of Iowa (UI) Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) grant. Its mission is to identify and competitively train academically talented underrepresented (UR) minority, disadvantaged, and/or disabled undergraduate students who have aspirations for research careers in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences. The IBA program directly contributes to NIH's effort of increasing the diversity of the biomedical workforce, ensuring NIH remains a leader in scientific innovation and discovery. To meet this effort, the overall goals of this proposal are to expand access to the successful undergraduate initiatives currently in place in the IBA to the large community of first-generation and rural students at UI. This expansion provides additional opportunities to test innovative mentor/mentee training interventions developed through the NIH-funded National Research Mentoring Network. We propose to increase the institutional impact of IBA by creating a network of campus scientists interested in increasing UR participation and retention in STEM-related majors and research. To implement the proposed expansion of the IBA, we have identified faculty and staff with expertise in several key areas. These include: undergraduate student development, science communication, quantitative fluency, T32-based doctoral training, career development, responsible conduct in research, mentor training, and program evaluation. Specific strategies for student development outlined in the proposal include: a mentored research training experience, competency-based mentor and mentee training, and access to career counseling. The IBA continues to embed itself within the institution working with departments, units and centers across six colleges on campus to increase science cultural capital of UR and disadvantaged students on campus. Successful interventions identified through the IBA that are found to significantly enhance student researcher and faculty mentor development will continue to be disseminated on campus and through national networks.

Public Health Relevance

The University of Iowa (UI) Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program provides ongoing and intense academic and research support to undergraduate students and faculty research mentors in an effort to increase the rate of disadvantaged and underrepresented students matriculating to and completing biomedical doctoral research programs. The UI IMSD program directly contributes to NIH?s effort of increasing the diversity of the biomedical workforce ensuring NIH remains a leader in scientific innovation and discovery. Supporting a diverse workforce, particularly a diverse group of research investigators, brings a wide range of perspectives and experiences to solve complex programs, and increases the likelihood that research questions related to human health are relevant to all populations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Brown, Patrick
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University of Iowa
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Iowa City
United States
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