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Abstract
ABSTRACT

The Biotechnology (BTP) and Molecular Biosciences (MBTG) NIH pre-doctoral training grants at UW-Madison together support 65 graduate students from a variety of Ph.D. programs spanning 25 different departments. Because neither interdepartmental training program directly admits students, a variety of mechanisms are used to encourage minority students to apply and matriculate to the participating Ph.D. programs. These include: 1) recruiting visits by member faculty to campuses with high proportions of minority students and to minority research symposia, 2) personal contact between member faculty and students accepted for admission to participating programs, and 3) active involvement of minority students and faculty in recruiting of minority candidates. Our efforts are enhanced by numerous campus initiatives. These include programs that engage undergraduate minority students in summer research projects with faculty trainers, financial support for trainer visits to the home institutions of the summer students, and inter-institutional linkages with predominantly minority universities. In addition, funds provided by the state of Wisconsin and the UW-Madison Graduate School allow us to supplement training grant support with 1-2 year Advanced Opportunity Fellowships for all minority students. Minority graduate student retention is facilitated by a combination of careful progress tracking both by the training program and the student’s Ph.D. program, volunteer mentoring by senior graduate students, and weekly interaction between program faculty and trainees at a mandatory student seminar series.


Sources of trainees for nigms training grants at uw madison
Sources of trainees for NIGMS training grants at UW-Madison

Applicant Pool

>30 Ph. D.

Programs

Physical

Sciences

Biochemistry

Biomolecular

Chemistry

Cell & Mol

Biology

Microbiology

Genetics

Training

Grants (9)

BTP

MBTG

MSTP

Genetics


Representative Training Grant Applicant Pool

Fraction of underrepresented students among training grant-eligible applicants to the four major Ph.D. programs that supply trainees to the BTP and MBTG (Biochemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Microbiology)


Underrepresented students joining the Biotechnology (BTP) and Molecular Biosciences (MBTG) Training Grants

Minority

students

entering

program

Year

(~27 total students join the two programs each year)


Initiatives for enhancing minority recruitment
Initiatives for enhancing minority recruitment and Molecular Biosciences (MBTG) Training Grants

  • On-campus high school and undergraduate feeder programs (URS, REU, SRP-BIO).

  • Faculty visits to minority institutions and research symposia.

  • Training grant recruiting activities (Biotech. banquet, faculty contacts).

  • Advanced Opportunity Fellowships sponsored by Graduate School/State.


Initiatives for enhancing minority retention
Initiatives for enhancing minority retention and Molecular Biosciences (MBTG) Training Grants

  • Tutors (Campus/Ph. D. Program)

  • Partners for Success (Campus/Ph. D. Program)

  • Progress tracking (Program/Training Grant)

  • Weekly trainee gatherings (Training Grant)


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