Improving Access to Research and Training (IMPACT)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Summary Historically in the U.S., students from underrepresented backgrounds earn a disproportionately smaller percentage of doctoral degrees in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences, compared to students from majority backgrounds. The low numbers of racial and ethnic minorities in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences graduate educational programs and, in turn, the workforce has profound implications for science. Because ?minorities? will become the majority of the U.S. population by 2050, a more diverse doctoral prepared workforce is even more critical; thus, it is imperative to develop innovative programs to recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds to pre-doctoral academic programs. Long-term, the proposed ?Improving Access to Research and Training? (IMPACT) program is an interdisciplinary collaboration aimed at increasing the diversity of the research workforce that addresses cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disordered conditions by: (1) Providing a mentored research experience to undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, matched to the scholar?s area of interest, with the goal of providing early exposure to research programs with a cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorder focus; and (2) Transitioning the IMPACT scholars into graduate school programs to enhance the diversity of the doctoral prepared workforce in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences. The IMPACT program will be an annual 8-week research intensive summer program in the Penn State College of Nursing (CON) and College of Health and Human Development (CHHD). The IMPACT program is designed to inspire cohorts of 10 undergraduate students (5 undergraduate and 5 health professional) from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, as well as students from inhibited educational backgrounds, to pursue a career as a research scientist. In addition to immersion into a funded program of faculty-mentored research, the scholars will attend seminars, complete assignments, and acquire professional development skills necessary to complete a competitive pre-doctoral application. The long-term objective of the program is to increase the number of future PhD level scientists from underrepresented backgrounds who pursue a successful research career, therefore increasing the diversity of the research workforce addressing cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disordered conditions. Our expectation is that the greater diversity of the workforce will impact both policy and practice and, in turn, potentially reduce health disparities in those conditions through education and research.
Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/20


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $122,427.00


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