The goal of this proposal is to increase the preparedness and competitiveness of diverse scholars as they train for and enter research careers in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences. To accomplish this goal, we have already leveraged the expertise and infrastructure of the national Leadership Alliance partnership to pilot new educational and professional development activities that will strengthen existing activities, increase opportunities for underrepresented (UR) scholars at all academic levels, and produce scalable and exportable products for the biomedical research community. We propose a new model entitled, SYnergistic Network to Enhance Research that Grows Innovation (SYNERGI), which will build on the strengths of the pilot project and the extant Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS). The new model will do so by combining the educational and mentoring activities developed in the pilot project with the LANS. With this proposal, we seek support for the renewal and expansion of the pilot project to create a comprehensive mentoring and training model that provides skill development, mentoring, and outreach activities for a national community of UR scholars at each stage of the academic pathway. The SYNERGI model includes the following activities: 1. New skill development academic year workshops for undergraduates, starting in their first year, which will prepare students for participating in the SR-EIP and presenting their results at the national symposium 2. Enhanced professional development mentoring at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS) that offers: a. Skill development and mentoring for undergraduates b. New career development workshops for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows c. New grant writing coaching groups for faculty from minority-serving institutions d. Networking with research professionals, faculty, and administrators 3. Continuity of mentorship through The Leadership Alliance Connect (TLA Connect), an online mentoring and networking platform as well as in person opportunities for alumni and faculty from Alliance institutions to share their research or program activities through a Speaker Series. Program participants will include undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career faculty or professionals within and external to the Leadership Alliance network. By continuing our efforts, we will have the capacity to provide the educational resources and career-affirming mentoring at the critical transitions along the academic pathway within a national network of UR scholars poised to serve as mentors and role models. The synergy of the combined activities will help to motivate trainees to persist and pursue research careers in the biomedical workforce.
This program is dedicated towards training a diverse workforce to meet the nation?s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. Through a multi-institutional collaboration, we propose a model that provides a continuity of training and mentorship along the academic and career pathways to increase the readiness and competitiveness of diverse scholars as they train for and enter careers in the Biomedical Workforce.