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.
>30 Ph. D.
Cell & Mol
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)
(~27 total students join the two programs each year)