After more than 4 years of hard-work and persistence by a team of investigators at Ponce School of Medicine, our school finally received the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) grant from NIH-NIGMS.
The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program was created in response to a legislative mandate to “increase the numbers of underrepresented minority faculty, investigators and students engaged in biomedical and behavioral research, and to broaden the opportunities for underrepresented minority faculty and students for participation in biomedical and behavioral research.”
To accomplish these goals, the RISE program will provide institutional grants for students from groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research with well-integrated developmental activities that will increase their preparation and skills as they advance academically in the pursuit and successful completion of the Ph.D. degree.
With the arrival of the RISE program to PSM, we expect our current “good” graduate program to evolve into an “excellent” training program that will improve: 1) the number of highly-qualified applicants; 2) retention rates; 3) availability of specialized graduate courses and workshops; 4) student financial assistance; 5) mentoring during PhD and for post-graduate plans; 6) monitoring and evaluation of student progress; and 7) close direction for continuous improvement in training.
As a result, students accepted into the program benefit from an annual stipend, paid tuition, lab supplies, travel allowance, networking opportunities, continuous mentorship and enhancement of professional skills. Faculty mentors will also receive a source of outside funding for their students, assistance with supplies and travel for their students, ‘on-time’ progression of their students through the PhD program, and better prepared students to compete for fellowships and post-graduation opportunities.
To achieve the goals of the PSM MBRS-RISE program, numerous activities are being planned such as an open house, professional development workshops, English language seminars, enhanced biomedical science seminars, and others. These activities will be coordinated under the guidance of the Internal Advisory Committee, the Program Director and the Program Coordinator.
Dr. Caroline Appleyard, Program Director, IAC
Dr. James Porter, Associate Program Director, IAC
Dr. Jose A. Torres-Ruiz, IAC
Dr. Richard Noel, IAC
Dr. Kenira Thompson, IAC
Ms. Beatriz Pagan, IAC
Dr. Erika Gonzalez-Lima, Program Evaluator
Ms. Wendy Pacheco, Program Coordinator
External Advisory Committee:
Dr. William Reznikoff (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima (University of Texas)
Dr. Adriana Baez (UPR - Medical Sciences Campus)
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