Consistent with our institution?s continued support of competitive students from underrepresented/underserved, and/or disadvantaged backgrounds, we are seeking to increase diversity in the neurosciences by the implement a sustainable undergraduate pre-biomedical sciences enrichment platform to strengthen our pipeline. The proposed ?Inspiring Diversity to Explore the Mind in the 21st Century: The NIHNDS/LSUHSC-NO, Undergraduate Diversity in Neuroscience Research Experiences? Program is a one (1) year, non-residential/commutator undergraduate summer academic enrichment program, which will provide students from partnered-institutions the opportunity to perform research and experience graduate education under the egis of neurosciences. The implementation of our undergraduate academic enrichment program will continue to incorporate the resources of the LSUHSC- NO institution, advancing the and conduct of a robust, evidence-based enrichment program, based on the development of core competencies, such as critical thinking and reasoning, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, and science competencies, which are essential tools for aspiring biomedical professions candidates. These items, along with mentorship and empowerment, will allow our scholars to navigate successfully the admissions pathway into health professions education. Our target student population will focus on Louisiana residents who are rising sophomores and junior undergraduate students, who are interested in biomedical careers in the neurosciences and who are attending local/partnered-institutions, Through well-established partnerships, we will continue to leverage partnerships with our LSU Main Campus, regional historically black colleges/universities; predominantly minority serving institutions (including, but not limited to Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University, and Southern University of New Orleans) as well as regional institutions such as, the University of New Orleans, and Tulane University for program recruitment. Our programmatic strategy is to select 6 student scholars, yearly, who are rising sophomores and juniors. Our core curriculum will provide career development activities in the neurosciences, inclusive of the integration of leadership and professionalism, as well as separate laboratory experiences, critical thinking and reading skills, and skills? preparation for professional schools? entrance examination, the GRE. We will address fundamental principles of critical thinking & reasoning, medical ethics, cultural competence, and professionalism. Program enrichment workshops will provide: 1) scholars with awareness of career path options in the neurosciences, such as our PhD program, as well as our dual-degree track of MD/PhD programs; 2) facilitation of mentoring relationships with biomedical/health professions faculty, students, and neuroscience researchers; 3) advising on Pre-admissions biomedical professions admissions tools ? Professional curriculum vitae (CV)/resume? development and approaches to admissions interviews.
This program leverages multi-university partnerships to provide structured mentored research experiences in neuroscience to undergraduate students from underrepresented / underserved populations in Louisiana. This is accomplished through summer and year-round mentor and mentee training in science, critical thinking, professional, and career skills. The program will increase the number of diverse applicants prepared for independent research, graduate school, and, ultimately, careers in neuroscience, helping to address population disparities in neurological diseases.