The overall objective of this renewal proposal is to facilitate the matriculation, training, and graduation of underrepresented (UR) doctoral scholars at MUSC. The intended outcome is to increase the number of UR students who complete the PhD degree in the biomedical sciences, leading to an increase in the numbers of UR faculty teaching and conducting biomedical research in U.S. colleges and universities. Students at MUSC take part in a broad array of research foci including cardiovascular biology, regenerative medicine, cancer, neuroscience, drug discovery, structural biology, and biostatistics and epidemiology. Unique to this training program on our campus is the extensive support of UR students in the first years of graduate school. The IMSD program integrates well into the overall scheme for increasing diversity in the biomedical workforce at MUSC, which includes a robust summer undergraduate research program and a post-baccalaureate research training program (NIH PREP). In this continuation of the MUSC IMSD, we anticipate supporting 6 doctoral scholars through their first and second years of graduate training, using interconnecting strategies to ensure their success. Initiatives to accomplish our goals include: 1) recruitment strategies targeted to colleges, universities and national meetings having a large constituency of UR undergraduate students. New innovations to accomplish this goal include hosting an applicant preview weekend and networking with PREP program colleagues. 2) peer mentoring and faculty coaching programs to give students a network of support on campus 3) monthly meetings to discuss science 4) career development workshops and guidance on writing and submitting grant proposals led by a group of faculty dedicated to their success and 5) facilitation of career networking of IMSD scholars through supporting them to: give talks at their undergraduate institutions, attend national meetings, attend a yearly symposium of PREP and IMSD-containing institutions, and an annual retreat with an invited speaker. Internal and external advisory committees will provide oversight for the program. Committee members have regular interactions with IMSD scholars allowing them to serve as career mentors as well. The program will be evaluated using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Public Health Relevance

The social, racial, ethnic and cultural differences of a diverse biomedical workforce bring critical alternative perspectives to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. In order to increase the talent pool of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and math it is important to train developing scholars who will pursue careers in the sciences.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
Program Officer
Brown, Patrick
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Medical University of South Carolina
Schools of Medicine
United States
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