The University of North Texas Health Science Center is committed to the training of a diverse biomedical sciences workforce through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences masters and doctoral programs. Through a Coordinated Plan that links K-12 (Adopt-A-School) to undergraduate (SMART, McNair) and graduate (NIH MKITS and NSF K-12 Graduate/Fellow teacher programs) training in the biomedical sciences, the graduate school has achieved >20% underrepresented enrollment over the past several years. However, such accomplishments are still short of the need to develop parity that is reflective of the underrepresented population, particularly for Hispanics in Texas.
The Specific Aims are:
Aim 1 : To create sustainable pathways for entry of underrepresented students into UNTHSC doctoral graduate programs;
Aim 2 : Develop and enhance graduate training interventions that produce evidence-based outcomes with the consideration of multiple factors influencing trainee success;
Aim 3 : To implement competency-based academic and research training driven by an individual development plan of each IMSD trainee;
and Aim 4 : Strengthen mentor- mentee relationships through the development of a mentoring and coaching infrastructure aligned with training a diverse population of trainees. Our comprehensive program with a network of partner institutions and past success in the recruitment of underrepresented minorities into graduate programs in the biomedical sciences should provide the formula for success with the proposed UNTHS-IMSD program. The institutional commitment to these goals is reflected in the participation of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research, as well as the Dean and Associate Deans of the graduate school.
The overarching goal of the UNTHSC IMSD Program is to support the timely completion of Ph.D. degrees by underrepresented groups and their transition into successful biomedical careers. The project has three main objectives: Objective 1) Enhance the pool of underrepresented students that complete a Ph.D. and continue in biomedical research careers, Objective 2) To ensure that at least 80% of Ph.D. students will complete the Ph.D. degree and Objective 3)Contribute to ongoing student and faculty efforts to reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented students and those from other backgrounds in participating departments.