The long-term objective of this proposal is to provide Native Americans with high-quality educational experiences that will ultimately increase their representation in Health-related professions. To this end, Northern Arizona University has developed numerous programs for the recruitment and retention of minority students and faculty, and enrichment of the University experience for all participants. Some of the programs that have been developed include participation in national minority university consortia, cooperation with regional community colleges, federally funded programs in several departments that provide a variety of research experiences for undergraduates, and enrichment programs that target K-12 students and their teachers. In the past, the MBRS Program has been a vital component of our multidisciplinary effort to enhance career opportunities for Native American and other minority students. These programs have resulted in substantial improvement of recruitment and retention rates for minority students and faculty at Northern Arizona University.
The specific aim of this proposal is to provide research experiences for Native American students in the basic biomedical sciences. By joining laboratories that are actively engaged in biomedical research, MBRS students will obtain mentors that not only serve as role models, but also can provide expert advice in career planning. In addition, the students will develop thinking skills and gain self-confidence through participation in research, through presentation of their results at regional and national meetings, and through publication of their results in peer-reviewed journals. Our past experience with the MBRS program indicates that this employment opportunities, and will enhance their potential for success in their chosen fields. Since the establishment of the MBRS program at Northern Arizona University in 1983, 65 Native American students have participated in the program and more than 80% of these students have completed baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degrees. In order to achieve these goals, this proposal includes subprojects by eight faculty representing the Biology and Chemistry Departments and the College of Health Professions at Northern Arizona University. The faculty wish to sponsor a total of 24 Native American undergraduate and graduate students as participants in independent research projects. Using the many recruitment programs already in place, Native American students will be actively recruited from surrounding areas to participate in our program.
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