The goal of the Opportunities in Genomics Research Program at The Genome Institute at Washington University is to increase the retention of underrepresented students in STEM and to increase their rate of matriculation into highly competitive Ph.D. programs. OGR consists of two programs: an eight-week summer program (Undergraduate Scholars) and a one-year post-baccalaureate program (Extensive Study). Prior data for the OGR programs indicate that over 45% of the graduates have matriculated into Ph.D. and other graduate and professional programs. OGR participants will engage in activities that will increase the percent of our students moving into Ph.D. programs to at least 65% overall. These activities include hypothesis-driven, mentored research, sessions focused on critical thinking, virtual academic year activities and graduate preparation courses and workshops. These activities will build on the work we began with OGR in 2007, leading to greater outcomes as the program moves forward. In addition to student outreach, we remain committed to the community at large and we will provide seminars focused on health disparities in genomics that will be available to the public and health advocacy groups. Our efforts with the OGR program and community outreach are helping to enhance diversity in the scientific workforce as well as enhancing the public's knowledge of genomics and its relevance to human health.

Public Health Relevance

The Opportunities in Genomics Research (OGR) program is designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who will pursue Ph.D.'s. OGR will provide activities to prepare undergraduate students and recent college graduates in areas essential to enter highly competitive graduate programs. At least 65% of these participants will enter graduate school and obtain Ph.D.'s in the genomic sciences. With the participation of these students in the OGR program, we are helping to close the gap in underrepresentation of people from diverse backgrounds in the scientific workforce.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHG1-HGR-M (O4))
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Junkins, Heather
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Washington University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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