Diseases of the nervous system represent an existing and growing emotional and economic burden to society. Neuroscientific research is critical to the discovery of new therapies and treatments for these disorders. With this goal in mind, it is imperative that we train research scientists who represent US society, including ethnic minorities, people from economically disadvantaged groups and people with disabilities. Underrepresentation of minorities in science and technology emerges in part from the fact that underrepresented minority students either fail to enter or leave the pathway that starts with a STEM college education and continues with graduate school in science-related fields. The University of Washington Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (UW-ENDURE) program will capitalize on the NIH Blueprint Program to help community college students in the Puget Sound region transition into graduate research careers by exposing them to summer and academic-year mentored research experiences in the field of neuroscience at the University of Washington. Our first Specific Aim will be to recruit each year 8 undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in academic-year and summer research as well as training in the field of neuroscience. Our second Specific Aim to assure that each recruited student is incorporated into the research program of a neuroscience laboratory within the UW, and is part of a comprehensive set of educational and mentoring opportunities including summer workshops and academic-year courses, and a one-on-one mentoring plan that starts during their stage at UW-ENDURE and continues for year after their completion of the Program. Finally, our third Specific Aim is to thoroughly evaluate UW-ENDURE?s immediate impact on students? quantitative skills and understanding of neuroscience principles, and on the students? success in applying to and entering competitive STEM graduate careers. The Puget Sound region represents an ideal combination of underrepresented minorities in STEM careers within community colleges and a top neuroscience research institution like the UW. UW-ENDURE will capitalize on this scenario to help underrepresented minorities transition into and remain in the fascinating world of neuroscience research.
Research in the field of neuroscience is critical to treat diseases of the nervous system that represent a growing emotional and economic burden to society, and it is imperative that we train research scientists and medical technology developers who fairly represent US society, including ethnic minorities, people from economically disadvantaged groups and people with disabilities. With this goal in mind, the University of Washington ENDURE program seeks to recruit underrepresented minority students from the Puget Sound community colleges, including the Seattle Colleges and Tacoma Community College, into a full-year research and training program at the University of Washington that will provide students with the needed skills to apply and succeed in graduate school within neuroscience-related areas.