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Promoting Diversity: Access and Engagement in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers. Sylvia Hurtado, Professor & Director Mitchell Chang, Associate Professor Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA January, 2008. Freshmen Interest in Biomedical Fields, CIRP Annual Survey.

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Promoting diversity access and engagement in biomedical and behavioral research careers

Promoting Diversity: Access and Engagement in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers

Sylvia Hurtado, Professor & Director

Mitchell Chang, Associate Professor

Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA

January, 2008


Freshmen interest in biomedical fields cirp annual survey
Freshmen Interest in Biomedical Fields, CIRP Annual Survey Behavioral Research Careers

  • Underrepresented Racial Minorities (URMs) include African American/Black, Native American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Other Latino.

  • Biomedical Pre-Majors include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy, pre-med, and zoology.


Freshmen interest in biomedical fields cirp annual survey1
Freshmen Interest in Biomedical Fields, CIRP Annual Survey Behavioral Research Careers

  • Underrepresented Racial Minorities (URMs) include African American/Black, Native American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Other Latino.

  • Biomedical Pre-Majors include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy, pre-med, and zoology.


Research plan key components
Research Plan: Key Components Behavioral Research Careers

What happens to individual students over time in terms of their access, engagement, retention, and commitment to biomedical research?

  • CIRP Freshman Survey, administered at orientation at over 720 institutions (baseline sample), 644 with URMs with initial intentions for biological/behavioral science majors

  • YFCY End of First Year Survey--160 institutions in working sample

  • Classroom-based surveys of introductory courses in 5-6 institutions, focus groups and site visits

  • Four-year follow-up: College Senior Survey at 160 institutions with potential to follow into postgraduate careers and graduate school.


Phase i cirp freshman survey sif
Phase I: CIRP Freshman Survey (SIF) Behavioral Research Careers

  • Data collection completed Fall 2004, three papers and report, Aspiring Scientists, herinih@ucla.edu

  • Key Findings

    • Over two-thirds of URMs aspiring to major in BBS fields also aspire to achieve a graduate degree, but only 4.5% indicated a potential scientific research career (compared with 7.1 for white and 5.3% of Asian students).

    • URM aspirants take fewer years of math and science that White/Asian counterparts

    • Self-efficacy and goal development supercedes effect of academic credentials and background characteristics on aspirations to become a scientist

    • More URM students report concerns about financing their college career and this has a negative impact on their intention to contribute to scientific research


Phase ii first year follow up yfcy
Phase II: First-year follow-up (YFCY) Behavioral Research Careers

Final longitudinal sample included 5,049 students from 160 institutions.

  • Key Findings

    • Only 11.8 % of URMS report participating in a college level health science research program, 21.8 participated in academic enrichment programs, 19.6 participated in a professor’s research

    • Students articulate values associated with scientific research careers but are not specific about these career intentions

    • Different support structures are available not only across institutions but within institutions, indicating where students get support has important implications for their success


Promoting diversity access and engagement in biomedical and

Training future scientists: Predicting first-year minority student participation in health science research. Research in Higher Education. (available online)

  • First-year experience courses and participation in departmental clubs significantly increase students’ likelihood of engaging in health science research

  • Receiving advice from upper-division students and interacting with faculty more often increased students’ odds of participation in research

  • Students were twice as likely to participate in research if institutions offered first-year students structured research opportunities, Black students were four-times more likely

  • Black students social self-concept, participation in a learning community, and positive interactions across race/ethnicity were key in predicting research participation


Retaining science students after one year in college review of higher education in press
Retaining Science Students After One Year in College. student participation in health science research. Review of Higher Education (in press)

  • Participating in a health science research program significantly increased students’ odds of persisting in their science major through the end of the first year of college.

  • Attending more selective institutions has a significantly negative effect on all students’ likelihood to persist in their science major through the end of the first year.

  • However, attending institutions with higher percentages of students attaining bachelor’s degrees in BBS fields significantly increases URM students’ likelihood of persisting in their science major through the end of the first year.


Lessons learned
Lessons Learned student participation in health science research.

  • A continued focus on preparation for URM students who have a disposition for scientific research

  • More exposure to scientific research careers is needed early on in college for students to understand what it means to become a scientist

  • Structured opportunities on campuses make a difference for students, particularly Black students

  • Developing an institutional ethos of talent development in BBS fields significantly increases URM students persistence in the major to graduation

  • Student quotes in focus groups:

    • “We do science here”

    • “This institution takes you to the next level”.


Academic papers and reports
Academic Papers and Reports student participation in health science research.

  • The pre-college characteristics and experiences of minority students committed to scientific research careers (2006). Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 12, 61-83.

  • Predicting transition and adjustment to college: Minority biomedical and behavioral science students’ first year of college. (2007) Research in Higher Education, 48(7), 841-887.

  • Training future scientists: Predicting first-year minority student participation in health science research. Research in Higher Education. (online now and in press, Spring 2008)

  • Retaining Science Students After One Year in College. Review of Higher Education (in press)

  • Examining the effect of stereotype threat on retention of first-year science students (in progress)


Final phase college senior survey
Final Phase: student participation in health science research. College Senior Survey

  • Retention in the major, preparation for graduate school, post-college plans

  • Program participation effects on a variety of aspirations and outcomes

  • Plans to administer the follow-up survey to aspirants at 160 institutions

  • Plans to obtain registrar’s data to confirm major and retention


Resources project staff
RESOURCES & Project Staff student participation in health science research.

  • Papers and reports are available for download from project website

  • Project email: herinih@ucla.edu

RESEARCH STAFF

Sylvia Hurtado, Co-PI

Mitch Chang, Co-PI

Graduate Research Assistants

Lucy Arellano

Kevin Eagan

Lorelle Espinosa

Monica Lin

  • Project website:

    http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/nih