Abstract: This project will continue our NICHD R25 Summer Research Program at the University of Oregon (UO), supporting 15 undergraduate students per year for 5 years for summer research experience and training. The program has provided opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research projects that focus on the strategic aims of NICHD ? child health and human development, with the long range goal of enhancing career opportunities for talented students in biomedical research. The principal aims of the program include contributing to national efforts to diversify the pool of highly trained biomedical researchers, enhancing access to research careers for students with limited access to research facilities and experience; and training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to be effective mentors. Our objectives for individual interns include: a) acquiring experience-based education in science research; b) developing appreciation of experimental approaches, strategic design, and creative reasoning; c) developing methodological skills; d) enhancing deductive and inductive reasoning skills; e) enhancing scientific communication skills; f) boosting personal confidence by professional and social interactions with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students, and g) gaining inspiration to pursue a career in biomedical research. NICHD R25 Summer Research Program interns are closely mentored by host faculty, and they work side by side with graduate and postdoctoral researchers at the bench. Interns have abundant opportunities to interact with faculty, postdocs, grad students, UO undergraduates, and fellow interns in the NICHD R25 program and other campus research programs. The experience is an immersion into the life of a research scientist working on a projects on the forefront of biomedical research. Program activities include, in addition to the closely mentored research project, a Mentoring Workshop, Welcoming Orientation for interns, mentors, and faculty, a Professional Development Workshop Series, a Faculty Seminar and Discussion Series, Intern Progress Reports, Feedback and Evaluation Meetings, a weekly Social hour, Field trips, cultural, social and recreational activities, an Undergraduate Research Symposium, and Program Evaluation.
This application requests continuing support for a very successful summer undergraduate research program to provide highly talented postbaccalaureate students from backgrounds under-represented in STEM areas, who are motivated to pursue research careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences with supplementary training in research and professional development, enabling them to gain admission to top graduate schools as pathways to productive careers. The program fosters interdisciplinary training, having a very diverse and interactive faculty. We aim to help students develop into creative and rigorous scientists who will lead research programs of their own, communicate important biomedical research to the public, and teach the next generation of scientists.
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