The University of Arizona proposes to implement a comprehensive program that will enhance our ability to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who obtain doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences. Through the proposed IMSD-funded Initiative for Minority Ph.D.s program, the UA's Graduate College seeks (1) to provide research skills and motivation to enter biomedical Ph.D. programs to 80 underrepresented students (20 in each year of the program plus 5 supported by other universities) attending universities throughout the U.S. including Puerto Rico and Hawaii; (2) to increase the number of UA underrepresented minority graduate students enrolled in Ph.D. programs in thirteen biomedical programs by 44 students in 4 years (10 new students in years 1 and 2 and 12 new students in years 3 and 4), and provide them the financial and academic support to ensure that they complete the Ph.D. in a timely fashion; (3) to test whether addition of a thematic focus that explicitly links laboratory research with health problems disproportionately borne by minority communities increases the motivation of underrepresented students to enter and finish doctoral degrees in biomedical fields, and (4) to identify psychosocial factors that may help predict graduate student success and Ph.D. completion. The program proposes two components: an annual Summer Research Opportunity Program for juniors and seniors attending universities throughout the U.S. including Puerto Rico and Hawaii during the months of June-August, and a graduate component, the Sloan Scholars program, that supports first year student stipends, requires 3-4 laboratory rotations, and provides additional skills training, conference travel, and dissertation supplies support for 44 Ph.D. students in thirteen biomedical graduate programs at UA. Each of the thirteen graduate programs collaborating in this effort has committed four years of financial support to IMP students as well as faculty salaries. The Graduate College has committed tuition waivers, health insurance, and $15,000 per year toward the implementation of an aggressive recruitment plan. Both formative and summative evaluations will be integral parts of the program. ? ?
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