Initiative for Minority Student Development

Published: January 27th, 1997

Category: Memos

Kenneth J. Anusavice, Chairman / Bob Woods, Acting Director

An R25 proposal will be submitted to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on Friday, January 31 to seek support over a four-year period to increase the number of UF students who are trained for careers in biomedical research. The proposed grant is designed to 1) enhance the development and/or expansion of innovative programs, 2) to improve the academic and research competitiveness of underrepresented minority students at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels, and 3) to facilitate their progress toward careers in biomedical research.

Biomedical science programs at the University of Florida (UF) include research in the Colleges of Agriculture, Dentistry, Engineering, Health and Human Performance, Health Related Professions, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine.

Underrepresented minority students will be recruited, advised, and mentored by faculty mentors to pursue graduate training in the biomedical sciences that will enhance their potential to conduct independent research. Undergraduate students will be encouraged to pursue research leading to M.S. and Ph.D degrees as well as postdoctoral research opportunities. A sufficiently large pool of UF candidates will be available though the McNair grant, the McKnight grant, the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) program, the Interdisciplinary Program (IDP), the College of Engineering, and the other feeder programs including a collaborative program between UF and Florida A & M University. Graduate students who are oriented toward the biological sciences will complete prerequisite courses through the interdisciplinary graduate program (IDP) of the College of Medicine.

The IDP provides one year of core curriculum in basic biomedical research and one year of experience in several different laboratories, including biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology. Students can conduct research with mentors in the biomedical sciences or jointly with mentors in related fields. For example, such research might include a collaborative project between biomaterials science and pharmacology related to the development of “actively smart” materials that can release diagnostic or therapeutic agents under specific physiologic conditions. Several innovative approaches will be designed to encourage the anticipation and retention of candidates in graduate biomedical research including the “3-2” B.S.-M.S. program, the peer advisor-faculty mentor plan, interactions with candidate “feeder” programs, workshops on improving study skills, test-taking skills, scientific writing, grant proposal development, and oral presentation ability.

We anticipate that funds will be available to support 20 graduate students over a period of four years. The competitiveness of this proposal will depend in part on the commitment of a large number of potential research mentors and advisors.

Please send the following items by Thursday, January 30:

  1. a two-page biosketch (NIH PHS 398 format),
  2. a brief list of your major research interests,
  3. a letter of commitment to serve as a research mentor and/or faculty advisor for underrepresented minority student participants in this program, and
  4. a list of graduate students you have mentored (highlighting underrepresented minority students).

Thank you for your assistance.

Please send your response to:
Dr. Kenneth J. Anusavice
Department of Dental Biomaterials
Box 100446
Telephone: (352) 392-4351
Fax: (352) 392-7808

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