Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN): Student Training through Institutional Partnerships will bridge the neuroscience research participation gap by preparing in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest Region undergraduates nationally underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences for successful entry to neuroscience Ph.D. programs. BRAiN unites preexisting formal research and education programs at diverse institutions: the BRIDGE program to advance Native American students to Baccalaureate of Science degree programs in biomedical sciences program and the Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs at New Mexico State University (NMSU); and the undergraduate Brain and Behavior program of the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado Denver downtown campus (UCD). Importantly in BRAiN these undergraduate programs collaborate thoroughly with the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Colorado Denver in the Anschutz Medical Campus (NSP at UCAMC), home to a T32 Neuroscience Training Grant. Broad participation in the Ph.D. neuroscience/behavior pipeline will be enabled through pursuit of three specific aims: (1) Recruitment of 55 BRAiN Scholars from diverse demographic groups that are nationally underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral neuroscience research; (2) Development of the Neuroscience/Behavior research expertise and professional skills of BRAiN Scholars; (3) Retention of BRAiN Scholars in Neuroscience/Behavior research through enrollment in postgraduate programs. In the past funding period BRAiN has attained solid achievement. BRAiN will provide intensive training that combines mentored independent research with student development of a rich knowledge base in neuroscience core concepts and computational neurobiology using MATLAB through summer courses at UCAMC. Emphasis will be placed on enhancement of mentorship skills through activities such as the Neuroscience Mentor Academy where faculty will meet to discuss student training, program evaluation, and curriculum reform. Taken together, proposed activities will provide an integrated research and professional development experience across multiple sites that leverages 21st century resources for scientific investigation and is responsive to practical aspects of contemporary student life.

Public Health Relevance

Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN): Student Training through Institutional Partnerships will fulfill the goal of RFA-NS-14-010: NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (R25) ( 14-010.html) to strongly prepare undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to enter Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences. This is an important goal because as stated in the RFA, demographic profiles from the NSF and reports from the National Academies reveal the national need for developing a well-trained workforce in biomedical and behavioral sciences and the continuing importance of developing a strong, vital scientific workforce whose diversity reflects that of our nation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
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Jones, Michelle
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University of Colorado Denver
Schools of Medicine
United States
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