The long term goal of this PREP is to recruit and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers in the biomedical sciences. We will build on our already successful program with innovative approaches to assist motivated students to achieve their goals of becoming scientists and thus be positioned to serve as role models for others and to reduce the health care disparities they view in their communities. By the use of detailed individualized developmental plans (IDPs), we will help the trainees take charge of their own learning by having them define learning goals consistent with their own interests and values and develop systems to monitor and assess their progress in achieving them. These IDPs, developed in conjunction with research mentors and program leadership, will serve as the foundation of the program. Following assessment of individual strengths and weaknesses, programs will be designed for each individual student that will allow them to increase their base of scientific knowledge, develop research and laboratory skills, acquire oral presentation and writing expertise and improve their leadership, interpersonal and time management skills. The basis of this will be development of an independent research project in a funded investigator's laboratory that will allow them to acquire and practice all of the skills necessary to be a scientist. They will be aided in this by a mentorial committee composed of faculty and peers and a program Steering Committee that will regularly monitor their progress. They will participate in a weekly Scientific Skills and Communication course as well as graduate level classes. They will be advised and provided direct support for the application process to graduate schools including preparation for the GRE, assistance in the choice of schools, preparation of assays, and mock interviews. They will have the opportunity to attend regional and national scientific meetings, host a visiting seminar speaker of their choice, and will be expected to present and orally defend their research project at the end of the program as well as assist in writing a manuscript of their scientific findings.
The goal of the PREP is to prepare underrepresented individuals for entry into and success in Ph.D. graduate programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. These individuals will add diversity to the biomedical research workforce, provide different perspectives on health care issues and aid in eliminating disparities that exist in health care.
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