This application is to request the renewal of ASCEND, Morgan State University?s (MSU?s) BUILD program. The primary goal of the first phase of ASCEND was to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce by implementing and testing an entrepreneurial training model for undergraduate research. Another major goal was to enhance the research capacity of MSU and its faculty so that ASCEND?s interventions can be sustained beyond the funding period. Over its first phase, ASCEND has implemented its interventions, conducted formative and summative evaluations, and presented the results at various forums. The results obtained thus far show considerable success. The implementation of the ASCEND entrepreneurial model at MSU has led to a substantial increase in the number of undergraduate students engaged in biomedical research. Among ASCEND students, there is increased sense of science identity, peer support, and social, academic and research self-efficacy. Faculty publications and external grant submissions have increased. For the second phase, ASCEND investigators plan to continue these efforts, but, based on results obtained from the first phase, some of the interventions will be modified to become more effective, efficient, sustainable, and scalable.

Public Health Relevance

This project is designed to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce in the United States by testing a new research training model that is hypothesized to enhance the research skills, science identity, peer support, and leadership skills of undergraduate students. As a result, a new cadre of diverse biomedical researchers will be trained who are both familiar with the root causes of health and health disparity problems and highly competent to address them.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Linked Specialized Center Cooperative Agreement (UL1)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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Morgan State University
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