The New Mexico State University RISE Program is diversifying the community of health scientists by supporting PhD degree completion by NMSU students who are members of groups underrepresented in biomedical/biobehavioral/bioengineering research. NMSU is able to achieve this goal because of the institution's unique status as a doctoral, research-intensive (NIH-INBRE), land grant, minority (Hispanic) serving university with a diverse student population and a cadre of accomplished mentors. Key outcomes of the seventeen-year NMSU RISE research education program are: 80.1% retention to science careers after NMSU PhD completion; 93.4% retention to degree completion by NMSU PhD students; student-authored publications; achievement of student independent support; national recognition for student research excellence; and student entry to postdoctoral positions in R1 institutions. This application requests funds to continue to train twelve RISE to the Postdoctorate (RTP) graduate scholars yearly under RISE Option III. The project aims are: RTP/PhD will enable completion of a PhD by 90% of the PhD Scholars and their subsequent entry to postdoctoral positions. Students in the NMSU RISE Program are prepared for the next step of their career through mentored research experiences, professional development activities, formal courses, scientific workshops that develop cutting edge quantitative and technical skills, and through the guided expansion of their research social network. Three developmental activities will provide core skills to prepare students for success in different scientific fields and careers: Activity 1, LEAD IDEA (LEADership in InterDisciplinary Exploration and Advancement) Program, develops the professional skills that maximize research productivity, funding success, and degree completion in 5 years; Activity 2, START-UP (Student Training and Research through United Partnerships) Program provides scientific and technical workshops and enhanced student off-site research training by establishing a formal network with R1 university department heads, program directors, center leaders, and renown faculty mentors; Activity 3, Bioscience TRAIN (Team Research And INnovations) Program provides a new set of activities that emphasize critical thinking, multidisciplinary research and communication skills as well as team leadership through independent interdepartmental research projects supported in the form of mini grants. The program will also include a Students-to-Students Technical Skills Workshop component. RTP graduate scholars are guided toward career independence through preparation of individualized development plans and electronic professional portfolios for yearly review, and through submission of fellowship and internship applications. RTP student activities are institutionalized through course offerings and dissemination in university-wide supported workshops. Students participate in formal education in Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) that is reinforced by faculty mentor practices and educational activities developed in partnership with colleagues in the START-UP network. Assessment and evaluation of program practices and outcomes are integrated into the design and continual refinement of programmatic elements.
A well-trained workforce is essential for maintaining the nation?s scientific competiveness and leadership in promoting biomedical research that will improve human health. The NMSU RISE to the PostDoctorate Program will increase the number of highly trained PhD recipients who have the skills, knowledge, creativity, and motivation to find innovative treatments for diseases and disorders that limit longevity and impair the quality of human life.
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