This application is a five-year plan to create a Mid-Atlantic Neuroscience Diversity Scholars (MiNDS) program to bolster the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students within the neuroscience academic pipeline and build a foundation for URM students to succeed in graduate school and beyond. The program will comprise a partnership between Temple University, Lincoln University, and University of Maryland ? all institutions with a strong commitment to educating URM students and a commitment to building neuroscience research. Our program will recruit 9 scholars per year and provide them with the tools necessary for persistence within academia focusing on 6 elements: (1) integrated research experiences during the academic year, (2) immersive summer research experiences at R1 universities, (3) opportunities to build presentation skills at local and national meetings, (4) coursework to build technical excellence in Neuroscience, (5) professional skills training and mentoring to facilitate the transition to Neuroscience graduate programs, and (6) outreach activities to foster community and build teaching skills. Scholars will participate in a 2-year bridge program during their last two years of undergraduate study. Students in our MiNDS program will be provided with a comprehensive research training experience, including financial support for academic year research at their home institution, travel funds to present their research both at the MiNDS retreat, and at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, and stipend to engage in summer research at T32 funded institutions, Temple University or University of Maryland Baltimore, within the labs of faculty with exceptional behavioral or cognitive neuroscience research programs and extensive undergraduate mentoring experience. The program will provide MiNDS with a foundation of coursework and professional development to set the stage for the next step of their neuroscience research career. This will include one-on-one faculty mentoring in oral presentation skills, scientific writing, graduate school application review, and interview preparation. Additionally, students in MiNDS will be paired with senior graduate student mentors during this summer experience to gain further insight into the transition to PhD programs. The final core goal of the MiNDS initiative is to foster professional development of both students and mentors through community outreach. MiND scholars will team with faculty to develop outreach activities to engage 5th and 6th graders in neuroscience. These initiatives will position MiND scholars for success in a career in academic neuroscience research. To sure this success, the MiNDS program will be evaluated by our Advisory Board annually.

Public Health Relevance

While the US adult population is approximately 61.3% non-Hispanic white, 17.8% Hispanic or Latino, 13.3% African American, 5.7% Asian, and 1.5% American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Pacific Islander, the picture in academia is much different, with over 85% of full-time faculty identifying as non-Hispanic white or Asian. This loss of diversity is limiting our potential as a nation to build knowledge and improve human health. Our Mid- Atlantic Neuroscience Diversity Scholars (MiNDS) program is a five-year plan to bolster the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students within the neuroscience academic pipeline and build a foundation for URM students to succeed in graduate school and beyond.

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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Temple University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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