We propose cooperative partnerships between California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and five outstanding Ph.D.-granting institutions. The partnerships described in this proposal are a model for establishing a program between a comprehensive Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), CSUN, and several pre-eminent Research Extensive universities (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and Stanford University). Students participating in this Bridges to the PhD program will have the opportunity to choose a MA/MS concentration at CSUN among biology, psychology, chemistry/biochemistry, physics, and dietetics and nutrition. Linkages between the Ph.D.-granting institutions and CSUN will be established or enhanced through these partnerships. Activities and interactions that will foster and strengthen these ties include seminars at CSUN by faculty from the Ph.D.-granting institutions, visits of CSUN students to the Ph.D.-granting institutions, and the opportunity for CSUN students to collaborate on research projects at the partnership schools. CSUN students will participate in a special workshop that focuses on scientific rigor and reproducibility of results as well as responsible conduct of research. The proposed activities will further enhance the preparation of the participating Bridges Trainees for entry into Ph.D. programs, and ultimately to their earning a Ph.D. in a bio-medically relevant program at the partner institutions or a comparable one. We anticipate that over the five-year timeframe, 42 trainees will have participated in the program. Of these, 35 students will have completed the program (95% to have graduated with a master?s degree), while seven will still be in the program after the first cycle of funding. We expect 100% of those who earn a master?s degree to apply to Ph.D. programs in a basic bio-medically relevant field. Based on past success at CSUN, we expect 90% of the trainees to enter a Ph.D. program in a bio-medically relevant field and to have a retention/completion rate of 95%.
The Bridges to the Doctorate Training Program is structured to provide opportunities to the participants that will engage them in research and didactic courses that will increase their knowledge in their chosen field of research, promote their self-efficacy as scientists. It will enhance and establish connections between CSUN and Ph.D. granting institutions. Ultimately, these partnerships will help to address the need for a well- trained diverse basic biomedical workforce.