Our goal at the University at Buffalo (UB) is to increase the number of PhD students from underrepresented groups in biomedical and behavioral science. The IMSD at UB has had an essential role in this strategy by recruiting, providing access to first-class research, and supporting students through collaborative learning and integrated mentoring. Since 2012, a total of 29 students from underrepresented backgrounds has participated in IMSD activities with fourteen (14) funded by the IMSD and four more expected in Fall 2016. The two-year IMSD programmatic professional development activities and workshops promote student success and entry into the scientific workforce. The IMSD is building upon this success, together with faculty from 21 departments spanning 6 UB schools, and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), to continue to catalyze the transformation of UB into a leading institution for training a diverse workforce.
The specific aims for the next budget period are: 1) To increase the number of underrepresented PhD students in biomedical and behavioral disciplines at UB by four per year amounting to a total increase of 20 during the 5 year funding period. This will be accomplished by targeted recruiting and holistic review to admit talented and motivated students from underrepresented groups that enhance educational outcomes. 2) To provide integrated mentoring and essential academic support for successful completion of the PhD degree and to secure competitive fellowships and awards. The program will guide students through their PhD training using an IDP to tailor their research interests, professional development activities, integrated mentoring support through their student advisory group, 3) To prepare students to successfully transition into competitive postdoctoral positions by facilitating access to careers in science and leadership positions, lectures and workshops and opportunities to interact with academic, federal, and industry leaders. To grow professional networks and foster mentor relationships, IMSD students will complete a research and/or professional development internships and explore potential future career paths. 4) Finally we will work towards catalyzing UB?s transformation into one of the leading institutions to adapt to student teaching and learning needs by providing a rich, intellectually diverse environment.
This aim will be accomplished through integrating the student to faculty development programs at UB and SUNY wide with the IMSD programming. Collaborative partnerships with the office of the UB Vice- provost for equity and inclusion, the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement, and UB senior administration are aimed to develop specific activities including workshops catered to UB graduate program directors and admissions committees, administrators and faculty search committees. The success of the IMSD program will be realized by: a) increasing diversity of applicant pools for graduate, and professional students and faculty, b) students? scientific productivity and entry into the workforce, c) improved faculty mentoring and support, and d) building a more inclusive climate at UB.
The goal of the initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program at UB is to facilitate successful completion of PhD degrees in biomedical and behavioral science of underrepresented students (e.g., AA: African Americans, HA: Hispanic Americans, NA: Native Americans; PI: Pacific/Hawaiian Islanders, economically disadvantaged, and individuals with disabilities). We believe that by providing professional development and mentoring, students will produce outstanding research, excel in their graduate training and successfully enter the scientific workforce. A diverse workforce will initiate health science research and collaborations to discover treatments and impact policy that affect traditionally underrepresented populations bridging the gap in health disparities.
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