The MARC Program at TSU continues from 1980 to date going through continuous evaluation and adjustment. During the last five years (2006-2011) 16 former trainees have received PhD degrees from well known universities including Meharry (2), Vanderbilt (2), Washington U., U. Cincinnati, Michigan State, U. Illinois, U. Nebraska, Emory, S.FL.,U. Ill/Chicago, Yale U., Harvard and MIT. Currently, 21 former trainees are in graduate schools. From this group, four are expected to obtain the PhD degrees in the next two years. Therefore, the TSU program will produce 20 PhDs from 2006-2013 (Please see table 2 in progress report). We think our small program of only 8 to 12 trainees/year in past years has made a significant contribution in increasing the pool of URM biomedical scientists. The GOAL of our MARC U*STAR Program for the next five years will continue to be to produce competitively trained URM students who enter and SUCCESSIVLLY COMPLETE their research doctorates in biomedical/behavioral sciences. This goal aligns well with the mission and strategic goals of the University. To achieve this goal we propose the following OBJECTIVES: 1. To increase the number of U*STAR graduates entering graduate school by 20 % from the current 58% to 70%;2. To maintain or exceed the percentage of MARC graduates receiving PhDs during the next cycle. From 2006-2011, 17 of our former trainees received PhDs (see table 2 in progress report). Based on the number of trainees in the program over those years this is approximately 40% of trainees receiving Ph.Ds. 3. To increase the quantitative and verbal skills of trainees as evidenced, for example, by an average GRE quantitative score increase from 370 (Newly appointed trainees) to 550, a 48% gain. 4. To increase the number of trainee scientific presentations at the professional meetings from 2 per year to 4 per year and publications from 6 per 5 year period to 10 per five year period. 5. To offer challenging curricula including on and off campus research experiences to enhance the competitiveness of our trainees to gain acceptance into graduate schools from 90% to 100%.
The proposed MARC U-STAR grant would increase the pool of under-represented minority (URM) research scientists, this will be achieved by offering enhanced curricula and rigorous undergraduate research experiences to maximize the competitiveness of students in entering and completing Ph.D. programs in biomedical research. The diversity of the students that emerge from the program will provide a more nuanced and sensitive approach to the host of public health challenges that occur among the increasingly diverse population.
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