The goal of the proposed Meharry RISE program is to significantly increase the number of minority students pursuing biomedical and behavioral sciences research careers by involving them in a program of excellence. Meharry Medical College has a strong record of graduating Ph.D.s in biomedical science disciplines, many of whom enter academic institutions where they continue the tradition of teaching, research and service that is a part of our mission. The College as a whole has a proven commitment to educating underrepresented minorities. Since 1972, the Graduate School has awarded 281 Ph.D.s in Biomedical Sciences. Therefore, it has a proven record of preparing students for research careers with a strong focus in diseases that disproportionally affect minorities. The RISE program, has supported 172 students since 1999 and so far, 92 scholars graduated with a PhD. The RISE program has contributed to the development of our students by providing competent research training coupled with excellent education opportunities. Continuing funding of the Meharry RISE program will allow us, together with other programs at Meharry, to provide the infrastructure and activities needed to continue to graduate more minorities in biomedical and behavioral science at the doctoral level.
Three specific aims are proposed in the current RISE application: 1) Provide excellent research training for URM students to successfully complete requirements for the Ph.D. degree; 2) Provide students with a career development curriculum to strengthen the research career continuum of our trainees through the RISE Career Development Office; 3) Strengthen the relationship between mentors and mentees in order to enhance the graduate training experience. A set of well-defined activities has been developed to help transition Ph.D. students into research careers in biomedical sciences. These activities involve enhancement of student training with specialty courses such Advances in Molecular Biology as well as Bioinformatics/Big Data, development of a career development curriculum, as well as research opportunities in the training areas of the RISE Ph.D. students. The overall objective of the Meharry RISE program is to provide students in the Graduate School at Meharry Medical College with enhanced opportunities to ensure their transition to successful and productive research careers.
Ethnic/racial minority populations are underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research. To address the nation's efforts to develop a nationwide cohort of scientists and a multi- disciplinary national pool of health disparities investigators to conduct research addressing health disparities, we propose a strong research training program at Meharry with qualified, energetic and committed faculty and a career development curriculum to facilitate their entry in biomedical research careers.
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