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National Research Council (US) Committee for the Assessment of NIH Minority Research Training Programs. Assessment of NIH Minority Research and Training Programs: Phase 3. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2005.

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Assessment of NIH Minority Research and Training Programs: Phase 3.

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3Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduates in the biological and behavioral sciences have a variety of educational and career goals. Some focus on enjoying a liberal arts education, while others focus on their career aspirations. Even when students take similar courses and have similar interests, they may not share the same career objectives. Substantial numbers seek employment directly after receiving a bachelor's degree. For those who have aspirations for further education, students who major in the biological or behavioral sciences contemplate a clinical career as often as a research career.

For those students who plan a research career, key learning experiences at the undergraduate level might include establishing a foundation for more targeted study in a range of scientific fields at the graduate level; learning about the scientific process and research ethics; and hands-on research experience that includes an in-depth examination of some topic. Programs in these fields may also include work in statistics, informatics, and communication as key elements of a foundation of knowledge for work in the discipline.

Many undergraduates face a variety of challenges. Some students struggle academically. Many are searching for direction in education, careers, and life. Students change majors and a high percentage transfer from one institution to another. Students may have personal or family challenges or issues related to financing their educations that affect how quickly or even whether they complete a course of study.

Undergraduate trainees from underrepresented minority populations face all of these challenges and more. Because, on average, they come from lower-income families, they may face financial and family challenges more acutely. Because they are minorities, they may experience barriers or challenges that are specific to their racial or ethnic group. They may have poorer primary and secondary schooling, less preparation and knowledge of higher education, and inadequate access to and financial support for postsecondary education. They may also face challenges related to the quality of the research infrastructure at institutions that serve minority populations and whether nonminority faculty take minority students as seriously as they do nonminority students.

In order to increase the participation and success of underrepresented minorities, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established programs that provide the kinds of support needed to address the challenges that minority undergraduates face and prepare them for graduate work in these fields. These programs provide financial support, classes that include exposure to the foundation of knowledge in their field, hands-on research experience, and mentoring. By selecting bright students who have shown an aptitude and interest in scientific fields and by providing them these kinds of support, NIH intends to increase the pool of minority undergraduates that could continue on to graduate school.

Undergraduate Programs for Underrepresented Minorities

The NIH supports undergraduate education in the biomedical and mental health-related behavioral sciences for underrepresented minorities most directly through a number of programs offered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study committee decided to focus on three of these programs. The first is the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program; it focuses on the preparation of students in the biomedical or behavioral sciences at two-year institutions, such as community or tribal colleges, in order to prepare them for transfer to a four-year institution. The other two programs, T34 U*STAR and T34 COR, focus on students in their third and fourth years of undergraduate study. All three programs provide only institutional awards and the institutions eligible for these awards are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), or tribal colleges or universities. (The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences offers some short-term training for minority undergraduates using the T35 mechanism, but this program is discussed in chapters 4 and 5 since the majority of T35 participants are graduate trainees, medical students, and postdoctoral scholars).

(R25) Bridges to the Baccalaureate

The NIGMS designed the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program, established in 1992, “to make available to the biomedical research enterprise and the nation the intellectual talents of an increasing number of underrepresented minorities.”29 It does so through undergraduate and graduate components that provide support to institutions to help students make transitions at critical stages in their development as scientists. At the undergraduate level, the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program focuses on building partnerships between community or tribal colleges and four-year baccalaureate institutions, with the goal of providing a nearly seamless transition for underrepresented minority students at community or tribal colleges who are interested in careers in biomedical research. It does so by improving the skills and opportunities of these students through coursework and hands-on research experience. The program also guides these students through mentoring and career guidance and supports them financially so that they may focus their energies on the program and more fully realize its benefits. Ideally, with skills, interest, motivation, guidance, and support, a student may transfer to a four-year institution where a baccalaureate may be earned with support from the four-year institution. After that point, the student will be positioned to pursue further work in the field at the graduate level.

(T34) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research Program (U*STAR)

The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program initiated an Honors Undergraduate Research Training program in 1977 to improve the preparation of an increasing number of underrepresented minority students in their junior and senior years for graduate training in the biomedical sciences. In 1996 it replaced the program with the T34 U*STAR program, which shares the same goals but provides institutions with both greater flexibility and the responsibility for self-evaluation. The T34 U*STAR program makes awards to four-year minority-serving institutions. These institutions select trainees who are qualified undergraduate honors students majoring in the sciences. Eligible trainees must demonstrate interest in a biomedical research career and an intention to pursue graduate education leading to a Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D., or other professional degree combined with a Ph.D. T34 U*STAR also supports program activities designed to improve the overall research training environment for MARC and pre-MARC (freshman and sophomore) students and for science faculty development at MARC-supported institutions.

(T34) Career Opportunities in Research Education and Training (COR)

The T34 COR Honors Undergraduate Research Training Grant program of the NIMH is intended to strengthen research and research training experiences for underrepresented minorities in scientific disciplines related to mental health. NIMH has made awards to institutions since 1979 with the goal of increasing the number of well-prepared students from these institutions who can compete successfully for entry into mental health research career training programs. An applicant institution must propose a two-year T34 COR Honors undergraduate program for which six to ten highly talented third- and fourth-year undergraduate students will be selected. Students will be provided with special research training experiences designed to improve their qualifications for entry into advanced research career training programs leading to doctoral-level or M.D. research career degrees.

Focus of the Assessment

To conduct its assessment of these undergraduate programs, the study committee relied on the following:

  1. Analysis of key documents related to these programs, including a review of the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program conducted by an NIGMS working group in 1999; two prior evaluations (1985 (1995) of the MARC Honors Undergraduate Research Training program, which was replaced by the T34 U*STAR program in 1996; and NIMH staff and working group reports on racial or ethnic diversity in mental health research careers conducted in 2001.
  2. Interviews by the NIH data contractor of three R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate and seven T34 U*STAR campus program administrators. (The NIH data contractor did not conduct interviews with T34 COR program administrators.)
  3. Interview data from the NIH data contractor, which conducted a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) survey of a sample of R25 Bridges, T34 U*STAR, and T34 COR trainees who were participants in one of these programs prior to 2000. These interviews are described in greater detail below.

Trainee Interview Data

Under contract with the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), the NIH data contractor conducted the telephone interviews described in the third item above, drawing from a sample of trainees supported by the three undergraduate programs.

These interviews addressed trainee demographics; program characteristics; the relationships trainees had with principal investigators (PIs), mentors, and laboratory or research group members; and trainee educational and career expectations and outcomes. They also provided trainees with an opportunity to discuss what they perceived to be the strengths of the programs and to suggest program improvements. The NIH data contractor identified a universe 6,614 R25 Bridges, T34 U*STAR, and T34 COR trainees who met the committee's inclusion criteria. A total of 100 interviews with individuals in this pool were anticipated. The NIH data contractor identified a pool of trainees evenly distributed across the three programs to serve as a sampling frame for the CATI interviews (see Table 3-1). Because the difficulty of identifying and interviewing trainees reduced response rates, the pool was expanded to a total of 1,006 trainees; of these, 83 were actually interviewed.

TABLE 3-1 . Undergraduate Trainee Universe, Survey Pool, and Interviews .

TABLE 3-1

Undergraduate Trainee Universe, Survey Pool, and Interviews .

The 83 completed trainee interviews represent a very small number within the universe; moreover, contact information for most individuals in the pool was unobtainable. Therefore, there is a high likelihood of bias in the survey results. In addition, some evidence suggests that trainees interviewed for the committee's survey were generally likely to be among the more “successful” undergraduate program participants. For example, among those who participated in the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program, survey respondents were more likely to have transferred to a four-year institution and completed a bachelor's degree than program participants in general. In addition, large numbers of respondents had at least one family member with a bachelor's or graduate degree. As a result, the data that from these interviews may not reflect the responses that would have been obtained had the respondents been more representative of the larger universe of program participants. Nevertheless, the data are instructive in a general way and have been used qualitatively to illuminate issues of importance in this report. For example, respondent data are reported using a variety of nonspecific phrases such as “nearly all reported,” “a majority of respondents said,” “a minority of respondents said,” “more likely,” and “less likely.” Such phrases should not be equated with statistical significance.

(R25) Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program

The R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program seeks to assist students in their freshman and sophomore years at community or tribal colleges in moving to programs in the biological or behavioral sciences at four-year institutions. These students differ, therefore, from those in the other two programs at the undergraduate level, T34 U*STAR and T34 COR, which focus on upperclassmen in four-year institutions and prepare them for graduate study in the biological or behavioral sciences.

The R25 Bridges program funds institutional partnerships that involve at least two colleges or universities. The community or tribal college must offer the associate degree as the only undergraduate degree in the sciences within the participating departments and must have a significant enrollment of underrepresented minority students. The partnership may involve a consortium of several institutions and it may include several institutions within a single state system.

Collaborative agreements between the institutions involved in a particular grant are designed to fit local needs and meet local goals. Program elements may include enriching the curriculum at the two-year institution, enabling students from the two-year institution to take courses at the baccalaureate college, developing courses at the two-year college taught jointly by faculty of both institutions, and visiting lectureships at the two-year college by science faculty from the baccalaureate institution. The program typically provides laboratory research experiences at the baccalaureate or other research institution, mentoring, and academic counseling. Programs are structured in different ways and housed in different departments across institutions. One campus administrator interviewed has a program housed in the biology department; another has a joint program of the chemistry and biology departments; and a third said the program was not department-based but, rather, centered in a support program called “science educational equity.”

Trainee Characteristics

Most respondents to the trainee interviews who were in the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program were women. Nearly one-half were African American and almost one-quarter were Hispanic, while the rest were Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, white, “other,” or did not answer the question. A substantial minority of R25 Bridges respondents said they were married or in a long-term relationship. Moreover, R25 Bridges respondents were much more likely than the others to have dependents, with almost one-third reporting them.

R25 Bridges respondents were as likely as their T34 U*STAR and T34 COR counterparts to say they expected the program to provide mentoring. They were only slightly less likely to say they expected to increase their research skills or obtain financial support from the program. R25 Bridges respondents were as likely as the others to say that they expected the program to help them decide whether they were cut out for research and whether to go on to a graduate program or a medical school. Participants in the R25 Bridges program had expectations for themselves and their programs that differed from those in the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs—students who are upperclassmen and may already have focused on graduate school. They were substantially less likely to say they expected the program to increase their chances for admission to a graduate program or to medical school.

Indeed, R25 Bridges program respondents reported lower expectations for their highest degree than was reported by participants of the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs. R25 Bridges respondents were more likely to report their highest degree expected as A.A. or A.S., B.A. or B.S., or master's degrees and were less likely to report the Ph.D. or M.D. Perhaps because they were still in the first two years of their undergraduate education, R25 Bridges respondents were also far more likely than T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents to indicate that they would work or complete a bachelor's degree as their expected immediate next step after completing their program. R25 Bridges respondents were more likely than T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents to report that when they were in their program they considered career options other than research. Among R25 Bridges respondents, a majority said they considered working in the health professions and almost one-half said they considered practicing medicine.

The “ideal” students for the R25 Bridges program have several qualities, according to campus administrators who were interviewed. They have good academic track records, aptitude and passion for science, and desire to pursue a career in biomedical science. One campus administrator said an ideal candidate “would be a student who has an interest in one of the natural sciences and the desire to go on for a baccalaureate and perhaps a further degree.” Furthermore, students accepted into the program should be “highly motivated” and have “good follow-through.”

Other comments by program administrators suggest that, in reality, many students need to be motivated and to increase their confidence and that they still need key skills to help them through the educational process. One administrator said the successful candidate for the program is someone who goes on to earn an M.S. degree. Another administrator cited a person who is now in a Ph.D. program. This trainee “was ‘plucked' off the campus sidewalk and given intense mentoring and personal coaching, which raised her self-esteem considerably. She was thereby ‘converted' to science … by learning to believe in herself.” This administrator also said that program strategies should focus on growing rather than harvesting talent. That is, a program should not simply look for talent that exists but, rather, the program should identify potential and work to elicit a positive result from students by working with and nurturing them mentally. Another campus program administrator related that his program goals included assisting students “with the transition [to a four-year institution], by improving time management and study skills.”

The reality for most students in the R25 Bridges program seems to be far from the “ideal.” Although administrators would like students who are motivated, many community or tribal college students are still sorting out their career goals, may not yet fully understand what a research career entails, and may lack the confidence necessary to embark on a research career. In addition, when asked to describe an unsuccessful trainee, one administrator said “numerous trainees who have difficult personal issues have dropped [from the program].” Two administrators noted that two interrelated challenges facing trainees in the program are economic and family issues (e.g., spouses, children).

There are differences of opinion about how to deal with these kinds of personal issues. One way is to simply avoid them by selecting individuals who are not likely to have them. One program administrator described looking for students who “hopefully would not have gotten into a situation where they have taken on a lot of responsibilities (family, kids) and could survive with work study funds.” Another way is to admit these students but invest time and energy in them. Another administrator said that if you want success in these programs “you have to be proactive in their [the students'] lives.” Such responses raise the question of how much support any program can give to students facing these types of serious challenges.

Success in the program is the result of a variety of factors. The background, circumstances, and motivation that students bring to the program are critical. However, once students are in the program, providing them with a research experience, guidance and counseling, and a sense of how one's education and career unfold after the program is also critical. Many minority students come into the Bridges program knowing little about biomedical research as a career option. Those with the high grades necessary for graduate training are usually headed for medical school. Hence the argument is that interest in research careers must be “grown” before it can ever be harvested.

Program Recruitment

Campus administrators at two- and four-year institutions use a variety of techniques to make information available about their programs. They post professional-style posters, hand out brochures on campus, visit science classrooms at participating community college(s), and identify potential program participants by talking with faculty and others. One campus administrator also visits local high schools to talk with school counselors who are asked to identify students with interests in the biological sciences who, for financial reasons, were planning to attend community college.

Visiting science classrooms in the community college to promote the program is a particularly key recruitment strategy noted by all of the campus administrators interviewed. This strategy is useful in getting the message out in an efficient manner to a large number of students who could be interested in biomedical or behavioral research. Although this strategy is successful in interesting students, an acknowledged downside is that it will miss students who are not in class when the program is being promoted or discussed. Thus, it must be supplemented by other techniques.

Despite these efforts by program staff, when asked what they would recommend as an improvement to the program, a small number of R25 Bridges trainees suggested that the program could be better advertised. One trainee recommended doing a better job of making the program known to everyone. “I just found out about it by chance,” the trainee said, “right place, right time.” Another suggested the program get more funding “to promote it more in different ways so people know about it.” The respondent went on to suggest that the program then also do a better job of screening applicants for participation in the program. Another recommended extending the program to other campuses, at both the community or tribal college and the baccalaureate levels.

Programs do tend to target their recruitment efforts, which may be a source of the perception among trainees that a program is not as widely advertised as it might be. One campus administrator made an extra effort to recruit certain students who may be particularly receptive to the idea of participating in the R25 Bridges program. These students include, for example, those planning to focus on the health professions, because they have the potential to become interested in a career in biomedical science. Recruitment of these students involves going to the core science classes that they are required to take and providing them with information about program and career options.

Perhaps as a result of these targeted recruitment efforts, however, respondents to the trainee interviews who were in the R25 Bridges program were more likely than their counterparts in T34 U*STAR and T34 COR to report that when they were in their program they considered career options other than research. Among those respondents to the trainee survey who were in the R25 Bridges program, for example, a majority indicated that they considered working in the health professions as a career option, compared to a minority of respondents in the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs.

This finding is not at all surprising, given that most minority families are not aware of biomedical research as a career option for their children. Since the number of minority biomedical researchers is so small to begin with, few minority middle and high school students ever make the acquaintance of persons working in biomedical research. It simply is not on their radar, but a career in medicine certainly is. In many instances the medical doctor is an icon of doctoral-level achievement within minority communities. This is why the most promising pool of untapped minority talent at both the community college and the four-year university levels is in the premedical sector. This is where minorities who are good at science often end up.

Funding

R25 Bridges students were generally like other undergraduates in NIH minority programs in terms of their financial support during their program. They were as likely as T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents to report having no other financial support than that provided by the program while they were in it, and they just as frequently relied on loans. However, there were areas in which their patterns of support differed from those of upperclassmen. R25 Bridges respondents were as likely as T34 U*STAR but more likely than T34 COR respondents to say that they relied on spousal or family support. They were more likely than respondents in T34 U*STAR or T34 COR programs to rely on wages or salary during the program. R25 Bridges students were less likely to have a scholarship but more likely to have a government grant during the program.

Research Experience

When asked what the best features of the program were, a majority of respondents said the research experience. Many of the respondents noted, moreover, the hands-on nature of the experience. As one respondent put it when asked the best feature of the program, “the ability to go into the lab and do the work.” A very large majority of R25 Bridges respondents reported having daily or weekly contact with their laboratory or research group, typically 4-10 people and typically including many minority students. In terms of the influence of laboratory or research groups over their careers, however, respondents were spread evenly across a spectrum from a lot to none. R25 Bridges respondents were most likely to say the influence was “neutral.” PIs or lab heads were generally more influential in students' education and careers than were their laboratory mates.

Mentoring

Indeed, R25 Bridges trainees who responded to our survey reported that overall they had very good relationships with their program PIs, but a sizable fraction (more so than respondents in the T34 U*STAR or T34 COR programs) reported having a distant or less helpful relationship with their PIs. A large majority of R25 Bridges respondents had some or a lot of encouragement from their PIs to engage in research, said that their PIs were good or very good to work with, and said that PIs were some or a lot of help with their next step. Moreover, mentoring and support was the second most frequent response to the question, What are the best features of the program? As one respondent said, the best features of the program were “the help of the professors, the projects they gave you to work on, and their overall mentorship to help you really achieve.”

Similarly, in response to a question about whether their PIs influenced their careers, the most cited response typically focused on how the PI provided motivation or opportunities for growth. One respondent said simply that the PI “made me believe in myself, that I could do it.” Others elaborated further, responding, “She already had been down that road, that path, and I was heading down that path. She saw me as a person trying to follow in her footsteps,” and “… very enthusiastic person—believed in what she did. Good conviction; told me I needed a personal passion for what I was doing; very encouraging in a seemingly boring field of research.” Other responses to the question about best features of the program noted the importance of financial support, networking, motivation, and greater awareness of educational options.

However, a sizable minority reported having little encouragement much more frequently than for respondents in the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs. And R25 Bridges respondents were less likely to report that their PIs had some or a great deal of influence on their careers. Similar numbers of respondents across the three undergraduate programs indicated that they had daily or weekly contact with their PIs. R25 Bridges respondents were actually more likely to report that they had daily contact, but despite this frequent contact, these students reported feeling more distant from their PIs.

Other Issues Raised by Trainees

Although financial support, research, and mentoring were critical to trainees, some comments raise questions or suggestions for improvement. For example, the second most cited response to the question, What were the worst features of the program? centered on the time commitment and, in some cases, the quality of the work. One respondent said the worst feature was “my work hours.” A second characterized the program as “double work” and indicated “a lot of struggles with home, work, and studying.” A third said the program was “a lot to add on to what we were doing [and] the actual duties were mundane,” and a fourth even charged that “professors took advantage of free labor.” A handful of respondents, however, suggested that the issue for them was struggling to make the most of the experience, especially when experiments were not successful.

Two respondents said the worst feature of the program had to do with writing. One said it was “writing papers and summarization of the data.” This is not necessarily a bad thing; rather it may be an important and challenging aspect of the program. Another respondent wanted more from the laboratory experience, saying students “didn't get a lot of work done. We would start an experience and didn't get to finish it. If we did get to finish [and] if something came out wrong, we wouldn't be able to analyze the results.”

Other responses to the question about program improvements suggested better preparation of students for the courses they were to take or better preparation for the transition to a university. One respondent asked that programs become “more standardized as to what students and professors should expect from each other.”

Does the (R25) Bridges Program Work?

The information available to the committee does not allow it to conduct a direct analysis to determine whether the program is “successful” in strictly quantitative terms. The information does clearly indicate that the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program provides value to many of its participants. It also “works” for some, but not all, participants who complete the program, transfer, and earn a bachelor's degree. The data also indicate that there is variation among programs at the institutional level in the success they have in moving students toward completion of the program and eventual transfer, a matter that is worth probing further.

Value to Students

Respondents were asked two questions about whether and how the program influenced their education and careers. The most often cited responses to these questions were that the program provided students with direction, skills, and research experience. For example, one respondent said, “At the time I wasn't looking for much but a bachelor's.” The program made him consider a Ph.D. or M.D. Another respondent said that the program “broadened my horizons. It showed me that there are other opportunities and career goals.” Another eloquently summed up his experience, saying the program “gave me a chance. Opened doors that wouldn't be possible. Gave me a chance to expand my analytical thinking. Gave me a chance to enter a field that I wouldn't have gone into.” Several other respondents noted that the program inspired them to change their majors or pin down a specific field to focus on.

Several respondents had a contrary experience and noted that, after trying the program, they decided research was not for them. Typically and not surprisingly, given the fields from which program administrators recruit for the R25 Bridges program, these respondents generally went into nursing instead. Yet it appears that the program provided important information for these trainees and they acted responsibly based on that input.

At the very end of the trainee interview, respondents were asked, “What else would you like NIH to know?” In response, most respondents simply offered that the program was a positive experience for them and hoped it would be continued. For example, one respondent said, “Overall, it was a very excellent program. It was very rewarding. I would recommend it to anyone who is pursuing science as a career.” Another said, “Ask them to continue to support the [R25 Bridges to the] Baccalaureate [program]. It makes a difference.” Similarly, respondents were also asked if they wanted to suggest any improvements to the program. The response given most often was to ensure that as many students as possible knew about the opportunity and to make it available to more people by extending the program to other campuses. This demonstrates a level of satisfaction with the program, at least among those who responded to the interviews.

This discussion requires a further note about race or ethnicity. About one-quarter of R25 Bridges respondents indicated that their race or ethnicity had an impact on their experience in the program. One respondent sensed that his race worked against him, saying, “I feel like if I was white I would have got more attention…. The head would have given me research experience [and I] probably would have gotten to follow him around.” However, others saw their race or ethnicity as adding a positive dimension to the experience. One respondent noted that the program allows “a lot of minorities [to] enter a field they wouldn't ordinarily get into.” A second “realized how few minorities [were] in the program. Challenged me to reach higher for my race.” A third said, “I think it made it a lot more meaningful. I got to see other minorities being successful. You usually think of the sciences as old white guys.” A fourth “liked that there were minorities in positions of leadership. That would be the number one thing.” Two others noted that race and ethnicity were also related to the kinds of questions scientists asked. One of these, for example, noted, “Most research that you look at is predominantly based on the white male middle class. Being African American, you are able to give a different perspective.”

Taken together, the information from trainee interviews suggest that respondents to the interviews were in general very pleased with the program, although this finding must be tempered by the fact that the respondents were likely to have been among the more successful in the program. This serves as an indicator that the program provided, at a minimum, important value to its participants.

Meeting Goals for Transfer and Bachelor's Degree Attainment

In 1999, NIGMS convened a working group to examine the current status of the R25 Bridges program and to review and revise program goals for the future.30 As part of its work, this working group reviewed data from NIGMS staff and found that, as of September 1999, NIGMS could assert that after five years, 70 percent of all R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program students had transferred to four-year institutions, and of those who transferred, 45 percent completed the four-year degree. As a result, 31 percent of R25 Bridges trainees achieved the program goal of earning a baccalaureate degree. Since these data derive from a third-party source, it is unclear whether the baccalaureate degrees tabulated were limited to science disciplines. Further, it is unclear whether or not students who transferred earned an associate's degree before transferring. Similarly, the committee does not know how many years each student spent in community college before transferring to a four-year institution. More recent data from NIGMS indicate that, as of 2004, 50 percent of all R25 Bridges students transfer and, of those who do, 41 percent earn a bachelor's degree. Thus, 21 percent of participants now achieve the program goal of earning a baccalaureate degree, compared to 31 percent in 1999. Despite the decline, however, even this lower rate is higher than the national rate at which community college students transfer and complete a baccalaureate. According to the National Center for Education Statistics,31 the national rate for transfer and completion is 16 percent. It is not possible to tell from the committee's data if these rather highly selected and motivated students would have done as well without R25 Bridges support.

Given that 55 to 60 percent of those R25 Bridges students who transfer do not earn a bachelor's degree, an examination of the backgrounds of these students may reveal whether or not (1) they should have been in the program in the first place, (2) the program prepared them adequately before transfer, or (3) other extenuating circumstances contributed to a failure to complete the bachelor's degree.

One administrator interviewed for this study said R25 Bridges students experience “culture shock” upon transition to the baccalaureate institution. Does this suggest that their experience in a community or tribal college program was not as challenging as it might have been or that the environments at two-year and four-year institutions are substantially different in some other way such that students are not ready for the four-year institution when they arrive? What can be done at the two-year institution to minimize this shock or to maximize preparation to meet the demands on these students as juniors and seniors?

A second issue is what happens to students after they transfer and what can be done to improve the experience for these students at four-year institutions. Indeed, one program administrator commented on the need to worry about students after they transfer saying, “This is a bridge program. Well, what happens to the trainees when they cross the bridge? There is no cognate program that provides continuity for these trainees.” Another administrator made nearly the same point, saying, “Students can participate in R25 Bridges, yet never really cross over to the four-year university. There is no ‘carrot' awaiting them, such as a small scholarship. So, some of them just ‘disappear'.” The administrator added, “The one item [that] would really enhance this program is if we were able to support the students after they came to the four-year institution. It would be fabulous if we had an NIH scholarship, even something modest ($1,000).” Beyond that, “NIH does not financially support me [the director] or the students after they have matriculated to the university [so mentoring cannot officially continue]. So what happens when the students transfer?”

This is an important issue, since NIH intends that there will be support for these students after they transfer. As the program is currently structured, the four-year institutions that receive R25 Bridges students should commit to supporting them after they transfer. Moreover, NIGMS instituted two programs in the late 1990s through its Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program that should also be available to support R25 Bridges students after transfer. These include Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs that provide awards to minority-serving institutions to enhance their research environment as a means for increasing the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students and faculty in pursuit of biomedical research careers. They also include the Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) program, which may be awarded competitively to any four-year institution and encourages the development and/or expansion of innovative programs to improve the academic and research competitiveness of underrepresented minority students and to facilitate their progress toward careers in biomedical research.

A third issue is variability in the success with which institutions move students to program completion and transfer. Among the three program administrators interviewed for this study, two indicated the percentage of students that transferred and these percentages indicate a large potential variance among campus programs. One program administrator said that 50 percent will actually transfer to the four-year university and another said that 80 percent complete the program.

Lessons from the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program

Many students recruited to the R25 Bridges program are new to research, have not decided on their educational and career options, have relatively lower educational and career expectations than minority students who are upperclassmen at four-year institutions, and need to improve their confidence and motivation. The R25 Bridges program is designed to address each of these issues. It provides hands-on research, career guidance, mentoring, and financial support that lead to improved skills, increased exposure to and knowledge of research, and greater awareness of educational and career options. These experiences will help improve the confidence of trainees in their abilities and allow them to envision a research career. At the same time, students who have not had the perspective to dream about research may become motivated to pursue a science career.

If a program's success is judged by examining the percentage of participants who complete it and move to the following stage, then the R25 Bridges to the Baccalaureate program would be a success since at least one-half of the students appear to complete the program and transfer. However, if a stricter definition of success is applied, such as students progressing to and completing the following career stage, then the program “works” for just some percentage of the one-fourth of program participants who transfer and eventually complete a bachelor's degree who would not have done so without the program. Given the natural state of loss through the education pipeline (only a small percentage of individuals with baccalaureate degrees go on to get a Ph.D.), it is, however, an achievement to get even that fraction to complete the bachelor's degree that makes them eligible to continue with graduate studies. Thus, the R25 Bridges program is successful in contributing minorities to the ranks of scientists and science participants.

It is harder to measure whether the program was a success or not for those who did not transfer or who transferred but did not complete a bachelor's degree. The committee has found that the program provides value for students and believes that this is true for both students who do not transfer and those who do. Moreover, as discovered in trainee interviews, some of students who did not transfer gave research a try, decided it was not for them, and returned to what they had originally planned to do, such as a career in nursing or other health professions. This is not necessarily a “failure” of the program, but rather serves as an important part of the process that provides students room to discover whether a career in biomedical or behavioral research is for them. Unfortunately, the survey data do not reveal how a career in research (as opposed to medicine) may have been marketed to trainees during the recruitment process.

To be sure, there are other students who, to use the words of program administrators interviewed, have “personal issues” and drop out or “disappear” before or after transfer. It is not clear to what extent the program has had a beneficial impact for them, nor is it clear how often this happens among students generally, with or without other forms of government support. In any event, these are all natural attrition events in the progress toward the bachelor's degree and occur with some frequency in all institutions of higher learning and with nonminority as well as minority students.

Issues that the R25 Bridges program should explore further include the following:

  1. Is the program recruiting widely enough in high schools, community colleges, and tribal colleges?
  2. How should programs screen applicants? What criteria should be used? (Some programs are “screening out” or at least avoiding students with “personal issues.”)
  3. What are the characteristics of students who do not complete their community or tribal college program or transfer? What are the characteristics of students who transfer but do not complete? How can the program be modified to improve selection of trainees or increase the chances of student success while preserving a focus on growing new talent, not just harvesting what is already waiting?
  4. How much truth is there to the perception related by some trainees that their PIs provided little encouragement, were of little or no help, had little or no influence, or simply used them as labor for “mundane tasks”? If true, how pervasive are these behaviors in practice?
  5. What accounts for variability in the success of programs to transfer students, and is this variability justified? For example, does the size or type (liberal arts, master's, doctoral, or research) of four-year institution matter? Does disciplinary focus or diversity matter? Are there ways to improve programs at low-performing institutions to increase transfer success?
  6. What can be done by the receiving four-year institution to improve the success of students after they cross the “bridge”?
  7. What data should be collected going forward to help monitor the R25 Bridges program more effectively?

(T34) U*STAR and (T34) COR Programs

The support of NIGMS for underrepresented minorities at the undergraduate level began in 1977 with the MARC Honors program and has continued since 1996 with the T34 U*STAR program that replaced it. Under the T34 U*STAR program, institutional programs average 8-10 new students per year or 16-20 juniors and seniors in a given year. The study committee focused its assessment of the T34 U*STAR program on the period 1996 to 1999. During this time, T34 U*STAR provided support for 1,576 students. Under the T34 COR program, institutions are required to develop programs that have 6 to 10 students each year. The study committee focused its assessment of the T34 COR program on the period 1979 to 1999. During this time, T34 COR provided support for 1,011 students.

The principal objective of both the MARC T34 U*STAR and the NIMH T34 COR programs is to increase the number of competitively trained underrepresented minority students who enroll in programs in their fields leading to the Ph.D. or a Ph.D. combined with another professional degree (e.g.,the M.D.-Ph.D). The two programs do so by emphasizing training and research. The T34 U*STAR program requires institutions to detail a research training program reflecting its mission, physical and personnel resources, and student population. This plan should describe program activities, detail how it will better prepare students academically for graduate school, demonstrate how it will increase the flow of MARC students to Ph.D. programs, and state the anticipated benefits of the program to minority science students (in terms of recruitment, retention, graduation rates, and career outcomes). T34 U*STAR institutions must also describe specific arrangements for extramural research training experiences for the students (during the school year and/or during the summer between junior and senior years). For the T34 COR program, institutions must provide a training plan that demonstrates how trainees will receive high-quality scientific training and research experiences that provide both learning and motivation to pursue research careers in the mental health field. T34 COR institutions must provide a detailed plan for students' summer research and study experiences between the junior and senior years.

Trainee Characteristics

Demographically, those respondents to the trainee interviews who were in the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR program had the following characteristics:

  • Women comprised almost three-quarters of those respondents to the trainee interviews who were in the T34 U*STAR program. A similar proportion of T34 COR respondents were women. Interviews with program administrators at recipient institutions indicate that most trainees in most programs are female. One respondent reported having a program that was evenly split between men and women, but one reported that “85 percent of my honors students are female” and two reported they look particularly for black males.
  • Respondents who were in the T34 U*STAR program were 42 percent African American, 32 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian, and 11 percent Pacific Islander. By contrast, respondents who were in the T34 COR program were 76 percent African American, 12 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian, 3 percent Pacific Islander, and 3 percent white. The racial or ethnic make-up of the trainee population, though, varies from institution to institution, depending largely on what geographic region the institution is in. One T34 U*STAR campus administrator, for example, reported that 70 percent of the T34 U*STAR trainees in their program are African Americans.
  • In looking at the list of names of individuals in the trainee universe at the undergraduate level, there are a substantial number of individuals whose surnames indicate that they are likely not underrepresented minorities as the committee has defined them (African American, Hispanic American, Native American, or Alaskan Native). To cite one example, there are many recipients whose surnames are Vietnamese. The committee is unable to estimate the size of this part of the trainee pool but raises this as an important finding about these undergraduate programs as they were originally instituted to focus on students from historically underrepresented groups in the United States. It appears that many participants fall outside these populations.
  • A large minority of T34 U*STAR and one-third of T34 COR respondents said that they were married or in a long-term relationship while in the program. Only a very small fraction in either program reported having dependents.

Key expectations that T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents had for their respective programs were as follows:

  • Nearly all T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents expected to improve their research skills.
  • A large majority of T34 U*STAR and more than one-half of T34 COR respondents expected their programs to help them to decide whether they were cut out for research.
  • All T34 U*STAR respondents and a large majority of T34 COR respondents expected the program to provide mentoring, which in fact it did.
  • Nearly all T34 U*STAR respondents and a large majority of T34 COR respondents indicated that they expected the program to increase their chances of getting into graduate school, large majorities of respondents from both programs indicated that graduate school would be their immediate next step after graduating, and just less than one-half expected the Ph.D. to eventually be their highest degree.
  • A small but sizable minority in both programs reported they hoped the program would increase their chances of getting into medical school, and a similar size group indicated that medical school would be their immediate next step after graduating. T34 U*STAR respondents were twice as likely as T34 COR respondents to expect the M.D. as their highest degree earned.
  • A majority of both groups expected the program to help them decide on whether to go to graduate or medical school, but this was more often the case for T34 COR respondents.
  • The majority of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents indicated that they had a variety of academic career goals when they were in their program: T34 U*STAR respondents most often considered clinical research, biological research, and teaching as potential career options; T34 COR respondents most often considered behavioral research, clinical research, and teaching.

Recruitment for (T34) U*STAR and (T34) COR

Programs recruit students through a variety of methods. The primary method, and one cited by most of the program administrators interviewed, is personal contact with minority students in the sciences who have already shown a certain aptitude in their freshman and sophomore years. This typically begins with a process for identifying students. Program administrators often request a listing from the registrar of freshman and sophomore minority students in certain fields who have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). They also identify prospects by talking with faculty and the honor society. One respondent indicated that he targets students who perform well in his honors biology class. The program then sends a letter or e-mail to the students and follows up with more e-mails and phone calls. Administrators noted that it is important to begin targeting students early in college. One program, for example, initially focused just on sophomores but now engages in outreach to both high school students and freshmen so that they are already aware of the program when they become sophomores.

Several methods are available for advertising to current students. Campus administrators (and sometimes current T34 U*STAR students) visit classes that potential trainees are taking and use vehicles such as minority science clubs and tutoring programs as means for recruiting. They post information about the program on bulletin boards and web sites on campus. One program advertises in the semiannual campus biology newsletter. According to program administrators, information is also distributed off-campus to high school and community college students. One program targets high school students by distributing flyers to high school counselors. One institution offers a summer colloquium for incoming freshmen called “Careers in Science and Math for Minority Professionals,” and the program administrator uses that class as a means of disseminating information to potential students. One administrator noted that the program has recently started targeting community college students, and another indicated a need to reach out to these groups, stating that they “need to do more outreach to communities of color, including faculty at community colleges. If we could recruit the top sophomore students from the area's community colleges we would be in great shape.”

Respondents to the trainee interviews were asked a multiple-response question about how they learned about their programs. Most T34 U*STAR respondents heard about the program from a friend and more than half heard about it from a college professor. Slightly less than one-half heard about the program from departmental staff and a small number saw a notice on a bulletin board. Among T34 COR respondents most heard about the program from a college professor and almost one-half heard about it from departmental staff. A small number saw a notice on a bulletin board and a minority also heard about the program from a friend.

There was only one comment among the open-ended responses in which a trainee commented on recruitment. In response to a question about whether the trainee had any improvements to suggest for the program, one T34 COR respondent said, “It needs to be open to more people and help students be aware of this program and others.”

Campus administrators also reported the need for greater outreach to broaden the pool of applicants to the program. When asked who is overlooked in recruitment, they noted several important groups. One said simply, “Black males are in short supply.” Another noted that gifted students who are noncitizens, many of whom are Hispanic, are overlooked. Another would like to target students who are Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Filipino, but while they may be admitted to the program they do not count toward program “success” because they are not from historically underrepresented groups. Another administrator would like to include students who intend to go to medical school, but the program is explicitly targeted toward students who plan to go into research careers.

Funding

The T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents had similar sources of financial support, both generally as undergraduates and while in their respective programs. Most T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents had scholarships and most also had support from their spouse or family. More than one-half of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents reported having wages or a salary and more than one-half of each also took out loans. Slightly less than one-half of each had government grants, and about one-third of each group worked as research assistants. Juniors and seniors in the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs were less reliant on sources of financial support other than their NIH stipends. During the program, less than one-half of T34 U*STAR and more than one-half of T34 COR respondents had an additional scholarship, and more than one-half of T34 U*STAR and slightly less than one-half of T34 COR respondents reported having support from spouse or family. However, fewer took out loans or earned wages or a salary while in the program, and only small numbers had other government grants or worked as research assistants.

The financial support that the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs provide students is important to their success, and many T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents noted the importance of the financial support received when asked about the best features of the program. T34 U*STAR respondents noted that the program paid tuition and a stipend, allowing them to focus on their studies and obviating the need for additional student loans. T34 COR respondents noted these as well as the importance of financial support for summer research and travel to conferences. One T34 COR respondent remarked, “Thanks to the money it is possible to do all those wonderful things. The money really matters.”

There were also a few T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents who suggested improving the financial support provided by the T34 U*STAR program either by increasing the amount of the stipend or by ensuring that the funding arrives in a more timely manner. One program administrator reported that, for some students, the annual stipend of $10,500 was not enough, so they hold other jobs. Another program administrator, however, said that the selection process screens out students who plan to work because it is a “recipe for failure.” In reality, about one-third of trainees reported taking loans during the program and about one-quarter reported earning wages or a salary.

Mentoring

An experiential research opportunity is a central feature of both the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs for their trainees. The trainees conduct research projects under the supervision of faculty who are PIs or lab heads. Training occurs throughout the school year and during the summer between their junior and senior years. About one-half of T34 U*STAR respondents indicated they discussed their research with their PIs on a weekly basis and another quarter said they did so daily. Almost two-thirds of T34 COR respondents indicated they discussed their research with their PIs on a weekly basis and a small number said they did so daily.

Survey respondents who were in the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs reported that, overall, they had very good relations with the PIs of their programs with whom they worked closely. Almost all T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents said their PIs were good or very good to work with. Most T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents had some or a lot of encouragement from their PIs to engage in research. Only a few reported having no or little encouragement. A large majority from both programs said their PIs were either some or a lot of help with their next step, although a small minority said their PIs were of little or no help in this regard. More than one-half of respondents from both programs said their relationship with their PI was familiar or close. Again, only a small minority said they felt remote or distant.

Both T34 COR and T34 U*STAR respondents were more likely than R25 Bridges respondents to report that their PI had some or a great deal of influence on their careers, more than one-half of them reporting this. When asked how the PI influenced their education or career path, respondents reported they did in so in four key areas: improving the trainee's research skills, providing motivation and personal growth, providing career guidance, and promoting the trainee for scholarships and outside internships. Just as important, as evidenced by trainee responses, is the manner in which the PIs provided this training, motivation, and guidance. They did so by acting as role models and teachers; by listening to, talking with, and nurturing students; by being involved in and encouraging the trainee's research; by providing information about and encouraging students to continue to graduate school and beyond; and by recommending trainees for scholarships. One respondent summed up many of the ways PIs help their trainees saying that her PI “encouraged research, spent a lot of time to help me, helped me get a scholarship, [and] remains in contact … always provided support academically and as a mentor.”

Another key feature of the T34 U*STAR program is the availability of mentoring for trainees. Respondents to the survey were asked if there was “someone who took a personal interest in you and was supportive of your research and career,” in other words, a mentor. All T34 U*STAR and most T34 COR respondents reported having a mentor while in their program. In both programs, most respondents reported that their PI was also their mentor, but a substantial minority had a mentor who was different from the PI in their laboratories. Slightly more than one-half of the mentors for both T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents were male. There were greater differences in the race or ethnicity of mentors. More than one-half of T34 U*STAR mentors were white, while less than one-half of T34 COR mentors were. For T34 COR, almost as many were African American as were white.

When asked what the best features of the T34 COR program were, about one-half of the respondents indicated that the research experience was among the best features, but they indicated almost as often that support and mentoring were. By contrast, only a very few T34 U*STAR respondents mentioned mentoring as a best feature and just as many cited it as a worst feature.

One T34 COR respondent detailed how mentoring can be key to the trainee's research experience, saying that the best features of the program were “the opportunity to do undergrad research, opportunity to develop close relationships with faculty members, being able to complete and present a research study and article at a conference.” Another comment by a T34 COR respondent presents a different dimension of mentoring—that of a mentor who is influential in the trainee's overall experience and provides motivation for the next step. This respondent reported, “My experience was so positive because the director of the [T34 COR program] was extremely passionate and committed to the student's success, and that kept me connected to the program.”

However, a sizable minority of T34 COR respondents cited mentoring as an area in need of improvement and had a variety of suggestions about mentoring in the program. One respondent noted that it was hard to find a mentor generally, and another said it was specifically more difficult to find a mentor who could serve as a bridge between the psychology and anthropology programs. Others asked for “more intensive mentoring” or a mentor (or someone from the program) who was more actively involved in a range of areas, including research, graduate applications, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation, time management, grant writing, and publications. Two T34 U*STAR respondents noted that they had to change mentors in order to find someone with whom they could work.

Trainees and Their Laboratory or Research Group

The trainee survey also asked respondents to comment on the relationship they had with the other members of their laboratory or research group, typically four to ten in number and including three to six minorities. A majority of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents reported having daily or weekly contact with their laboratory or research group, although T34 U*STAR respondents were far more likely than T34 COR respondents to have daily contact. More than one-half of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents indicated feeling close to or familiar with their research groups. Most of the rest indicated feeling “neutral.” Only slightly more than one-third of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents reported that their laboratory or research group had much influence over their careers. PIs were more likely to have an influence.

Do the (T34) U*STAR and (T34) COR Programs Work?

The data available to the committee do not allow a direct analysis to determine whether the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs are “successful” in strictly quantitative terms. However, the information available indicates that the programs provide value to their participants and clearly “work” for most program participants, because a very high proportion eventually graduates from the program and a reasonably high percentage appears to eventually continue to graduate school. The data also indicate that there is variation among programs at the institutional level in the success they have in moving students toward completion of the program and eventual transfer—an issue worth probing further.

Value of Program to Trainees

Trainees were asked several open-ended questions in their interviews, and their answers reinforce the usefulness of the key features of the program but also raise some important concerns. Among the questions that were posed were what were the best features of the program? what were the worst features of the program? what improvements for the program would you recommend? and do you have anything else you would like to say to NIH? T34 U*STAR respondents tended to be briefer in their responses than T34 COR respondents. However, their responses to these questions provide insights into overall program quality, key program features, the relationship of the program to education and career goals, and diversity.

Program Quality

In response to the question, do you have anything else you would like to say to NIH, a small number of T34 U*STAR and more than one-half of T34 COR respondents commented on the quality of and/or their appreciation for the program. T34 U*STAR respondents who answered this way were effusive, calling the program “a wonderful experience,” “an awesome experience,” “a great opportunity for kids,” and a “really great grant—it opened my mind.” T34 COR respondents were equally enthusiastic, with such responses as, “It shaped my career path. I would never have thought of going into the sciences,” or “It's a very beneficial program that provides a really good springboard for undergrads to get to a research career.” Similarly, when asked, what were the worst features of the program? one-third of T34 COR respondents simply replied that there were none or they could not think of any.

A real sense of the T34 U*STAR respondents' appreciation for the program came in response to the questions about how the program influenced their education and career. In response to these questions, respondents noted the skills that the program gave them. One respondent noted that the program “provided a foundation for research as well as technical skills in research.” Another noted that the research experience was “unmatched” and the importance of attending conferences and making oral presentations. Two respondents noted the importance of being able to focus on studies while in the program. One respondent summed this up nicely, saying the program “let me concentrate on school so I didn't have to work. Let me enter graduate school. Exposed me to different science research so I was able to know exactly what I wanted to do in graduate school.” The most cited response, however, focused on how the program helped respondents with the educational and career direction. As one respondent put it, “I found my calling, which is research.”

Taken together, these responses suggest a high level of satisfaction on the part of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents with their programs and demonstrate the value of these programs to the participants. This value is demonstrated further in respondent comments about specific program features.

Program Features

Research. When asked what the best features of the program were, the feature cited most often, by most T34 U*STAR and one-half of T34 COR respondents, was the research experience, particularly the hands-on, practical experience with laboratory research. A T34 COR respondent summed up the benefit of the research experience and also cited other key program features (mentoring, travel) by citing the “opportunity to do undergrad research, opportunity to develop close relationship with faculty members, being able to complete and present a research study and article at a conference.”

In addition, a T34 U*STAR respondent specifically noted the opportunity to travel to another institution to do research during the summer between junior and senior year. This had the advantage of not only allowing exposure to more research, but also of introducing the student “to a lot of professors so we already knew a lot of people before applying to graduate school.” A handful of T34 COR respondents also noted the summer research internship in particular as a best feature.

To be sure, there were those who had complaints or suggestions about research, but even these comments show an appreciation for the importance of a meaningful research experience. A T34 U*STAR respondent said that the worst feature of the program was the “lack of lab space.” Two others said that the program might be improved by including “more lab opportunities” and less time “doing administrative things.” A T34 COR respondent said that the worst feature of the program was, simply, “the mice.” Two others made practical suggestions, such as “make research topics more interesting” and provide “opportunities to work in different labs.”

Travel. A program feature cited by T34 COR respondents as a best feature almost as often as the research experience was the opportunity to travel to conferences and make either a poster or an oral presentation based on the trainee's research. Numerous respondents commented on this feature, often when also citing the importance of the research experience. Several T34 U*STAR respondents also cited travel to conferences as a best feature, but far fewer than for T34 COR respondents. One T34 U*STAR respondent even cited this as a worst feature, saying “it was a lot of pressure.”

Mentoring. When asked what best features of the T34 U*STAR program were, very few respondents mentioned mentoring—a surprising result since almost one-half of T34 COR respondents indicated that mentoring was one. However, when asked how their PIs influenced their education or career path, respondents reported that they were very helpful, particularly in four key areas: (1) improving the trainee's research skills, (2) providing motivation and personal growth, (3) providing career guidance, and (4) promoting the trainee for scholarships and outside internships. They did so by acting as role models; teaching, listening to, and talking with students; being involved in and encouraging the trainee's research; providing information about opportunities; and recommending trainees for scholarships.

The T34 COR respondents were much more likely to cite mentoring as a best feature, but also as an area in need of improvement. Slightly less than one-half of T34 COR respondents cited mentoring as one of the best features of the program. Working with faculty in research provides one important dimension of the mentor-trainee relationship. The motivation that a mentor can provide is another. On the other hand, a sizable minority of T34 COR respondents cited mentoring as an area in need of improvement.

Financial Support. Some T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents indicated that the financial support was one of the best features of the program. Respondents noted that because of the financial support they did not have to pay tuition for much of the time they were undergraduates, did not have to work while in the program, and in one case, did not have to take out loans. However, a handful of respondents said that the financial support provided by these programs could be improved either by increasing the amount of the stipend or by ensuring that the funding arrives in a timelier manner. Just as often, however, the suggestion was not for an increase in student support but in funding for other activities (e.g., more mentoring).

Skill. Very few respondents cited “skills,” other than those associated with the research experience, when asked about the best features of the program. In response to a question about how the program influenced the trainee's career, however, many T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents said that the program provided them with important skills. T34 U*STAR respondents noted such skills as “a better understanding of the principles,” the ability to be “objective,” technical skills in research, knowledge about research ethics, and making oral presentations. T34 COR respondents noted a wide variety of skills such as writing, presentation skills, critical thinking, academic research, lab techniques, scientific methods, teamwork, networking, discipline, and “the skill that I needed to be able to survive at graduate school.” However, respondents wanted additional help with research, graduate applications, GRE preparation, time management, grant writing, and publications. Two respondents specified the need for help with “the transition to graduate school.”

Networking. Networking was also important to at least a handful of respondents. The ability to interact with other students and to work with faculty were both cited as key features. One T34 U*STAR respondent noted that the extramural summer research experience introduced the trainee “to a lot of professors so we already knew a lot of people before applying to graduate school.” Meeting other researchers at conferences was noted by T34 COR respondents as an important part of the experience in traveling to meetings to make poster or oral presentations.

Program Impact on Education and Careers

Respondents were asked two questions about whether and how the program influenced their education and careers. The most often cited response to these questions was that the program provided students with direction and motivation. Respondents said that the exposure to research made them more interested in it as a possible career path. They noted as well that the program made them more focused on going to graduate school. Others noted that the program exposed them to career opportunities they would not have known about otherwise, and one said, “It guided my career and shaped it.”

There were other comments, however, about negative aspects of the program. For example, a substantial minority of respondents noted some aspect of the time commitment involved in program participation. One respondent said the worst feature of the program was “being on a tight schedule—had to give up Saturdays to go to exams.” Another said the program “took time away from your studies for your major.” Still another complained about “putting in long hours at the lab.” Other comments were focused less on the time commitment than on program rigor. While some respondents liked the structure and opportunities the program afforded, one commented, “It was hard.”

Issues Related to Race and Ethnicity or Diversity

Respondents provided a range of comments about race and ethnicity or diversity in response to the open-ended questions asked during the telephone interviews. A few T34 COR respondents indicated that some aspect of diversity was among the best features of the programs. One noted, for example, the diversity of mentors, and another noted that the program gave minority students an opportunity they might not otherwise have had. Several T34 U*STAR respondents, however, had complaints related to diversity. One complained that the program was not administered by a minority, and another reported that few participants in the program were minorities from historically underrepresented groups.

Respondents were also asked whether and how their race or ethnicity impacted the experience they had in the program. Significantly more T34 COR respondents than T34 U*STAR or R25 Bridges respondents said their race or ethnicity was a factor in their program experience. Almost one-third of T34 COR respondents noted that their race made them eligible for the program and provided them with opportunities (e.g., travel) that other students might not have had. One respondent said the program made her feel “equal” and another said it made her feel “special.” One respondent, however, cautioned that one of the worst features of the program was that “there was a lot of jealousy from other mainstream students who were not in the program.” One-tenth of the respondents indicated that their race provided them with a different perspective either on the research they did or on their career path.

Interviews of Program Administrators at Recipient Institutions

Trainee Selection Criteria

Program administrators at recipient institutions (PARIs) were asked what criteria they look for when selecting program trainees. At a minimum, trainees must be juniors, U.S. citizens, and in good academic standing. However, program administrators also look for a certain goals, ambitions, and characteristics. One program administrator, for example, provided this response: “We wish to attract bright, highly motivated people with a good work ethic. We are looking for people who are willing to work hard, who are intelligent, and who are motivated to pursue graduate studies. And we also look for previous research experience.” In addition, as one administrator said, trainees “have to be willing to sort of live and breathe science.” Key criteria that administrators use for trainee selection are the following:

  • Academic standing. Administrators report that they look for students who are bright, intelligent, and in good academic standing. They look as well for creativity, ingenuity, and inquisitiveness. Most programs tend to recruit students with at least a 3.0 GPA, although one program requires at least a 3.2. Several program administrators said they also look specifically at how students have performed in what one called “gatekeeper courses” such as physics, mathematics, and organic chemistry. One administrator said, “If we have a student with weak grades [who] applies, we try to evaluate what the problems were or other issues. We are looking for students who are willing to work hard and not really make excuses.”
  • Hard-working and motivated. Program administrators invariably mentioned that they seek students who are “hard working” or have a “good work ethic.” They report looking for students who are “highly motivated” or, as one put it, have the “fire-in-the-belly type of thing.” They look for people who take initiative, have a sense of themselves, and have enthusiasm. One administrator said trainees must be “mentorable,” by which was meant “goal-directed, definitive in their approach to educational decisions.”
  • Commitment. One administrator reported that students must be able to commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week in a lab. Another said the applicant should not have plans to hold down a job in addition to working in the program. “This is a recipe for failure.”
  • Interested in graduate study and research. Across the board, administrators interviewed were adamant that students must be motivated to pursue graduate studies and should have a strong interest in research. Several specified that applicants have to demonstrate that they want to eventually earn a Ph.D. One program requires participants to sign a statement saying that if, at any point they decide to go to medical school, they must drop out of the program. Another focuses on screening out those who just want the financial aid and those who want to go to medical school.

These responses, on the whole, seem to be intended to involve students what are most likely to succeed in the program. This is appropriate in large measure, but it does shift the focus somewhat from growing new talent to harvesting already apparent talent.

(T34) U*STAR Trainee Challenges

The seven T34 U*STAR program administrators at recipient institutions who were interviewed for this study were asked to discuss the kinds of challenges that trainees in the T34 U*STAR program face. They provided frank insights about academic issues as well as personal issues, faced by trainees, as summarized below. In most cases, the challenges cited present the flip side of the characteristics administrators look for in the ideal candidate. However, in most cases, students eventually succeed in the program, sometimes despite the challenges. One administrator reported that only one trainee had ever dropped out of the program and another reported that only 3 students out of 100 did not complete the program.

Academic Challenges. All of the program administrators cited academic issues as key challenges. They described these variously as “keeping their grades up,” “the academic load,” and “the demands of research,” which can include up to 10-15 hours in the laboratory each week. One administrator noted that, for trainees who are transferring to a four-year institution at the time they join the program, the transition could be challenging. Another administrator noted the demands of the program saying, “Between semesters and during summers, we do not allow the kids to go home. They have to stay on campus, attend extra courses, and work full-time in the lab during the summer, for example. The only time they get off is Christmas.” A third noted that, “sometimes they need extra academic support in courses such as chemistry, physics, and math.” These are often gatekeeper courses that may be designed as much to weed out students as to help them progress; without appropriate intervention at this stage, unprepared students will be lost. A fourth said, “GRE verbal scores are a real problem for our minority trainees. One guy got a quantitative score in the high 90s and a verbal score in the mid-40s.”

Focus. Another set of challenges that program administrators cited was the ability of trainees to focus their efforts and manage their time in the right way. This appears to have several dimensions to it. One administrator summed up all of these concerns saying trainees require “learning time management, learning patience, and the ability to ‘stick-to-it.'”

Choices. One administrator noted that some trainees have challenges with maintaining their self-confidence. Another noted that there are distractions or other options. This administrator reported, “There are so many opportunities out there, but people can become overwhelmed by all the opportunities and it becomes difficult to choose.” When asked to describe an unsuccessful trainee, three administrators related stories about students who decided that research was not for them and decided to go to medical or dental school instead. In one case, however, an administrator related that a student went to medical school, dropped out after a year, worked for a couple of years, and then went to graduate school, earned a doctorate, did a postdoc, and is now a faculty member.

Personal and Family Issues. A variety of other issues surface for trainees. One administrator said, “In 2 out of 100 cases, I had to move a minority trainee out of a lab, because the faculty member was abusing them in some way.” Another noted that “family issues can be a big challenge—certainly, for the Native American students—because their homes are so far away if issues come up. That is probably the biggest.” A third administrator noted that financial concerns can also be a challenge. “Financially, you know, paying them $10,500 a year is nice but that's not necessarily enough for a student, and they may still have to work and do some other things.”

In response to a question asking administrators to describe an unsuccessful trainee, several administrators noted there were students who had family issues that derailed their studies. In one case, a student had two young children and, because the spouse was unsupportive, was not able to create the time necessary to be successful in the program. Another trainee was “very bright” but left to get married and start a family.

On the other hand, one administrator related the story of a trainee who was “always screwing up.” When the program administrator intervened and mediated, he found that the trainee was given custody of a “wild sister whom the parents could not control.” The trainee eventually turned things around and earned a Ph.D. from an Ivy League institution.

Race or Ethnicity. Finally, program administrators noted that racial or ethnic relations can also be a challenge for trainees in the program. One administrator stated, “Our minority trainees often have to deal with racist comments from nonminority peers who ostracize them for participating in a targeted program.” Another noted, “And, I think probably for the black students, because they are such a small percentage … they have their issues of being a minority amongst the minority.” A third said, “There is some culture shock for minority trainees who come from rural backgrounds where there is little ethnic diversity.”

Despite these kinds of challenges, students can and do succeed. One program administrator, when asked to describe a successful student, described one trainee as “very shy” with a “low confidence level,” but a “smart kid, eldest in his Latino family,” with an “overwhelming sense of responsibility about things in his family.” This trainee “had to leave the program one summer to take care of family matters. Family was in financial ruin.” Later, the trainee returned and completed the program but “applied to only one grad school, despite our advice that he do otherwise.” The trainee was not accepted, but “persisted in focusing on this one school, enrolled [in] and completed their prep program … was admitted. Over time, he developed confidence and determination.” He eventually received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry, did a postdoc, and now has a faculty position. The administrator says, “Now he is fierce!”

(T34) COR Trainee Challenges

The T34 COR PIs were not interviewed for this study, but an NIMH staff report summarized the views of T34 COR training directors as they were expressed at an October 1999 workshop. These views provide insight into the challenges that T34 COR trainees face and were summarized as follows:

  • T34 COR program leaders report that many undergraduates are excited about the opportunities offered by the program but they do not fully understand what a research career entails. Consequently, even some of those who go on to graduate school become disillusioned and drop out. For minority students, and especially those who have dependents, financial constraints often dictate that they work for several years prior to going on for advanced degrees. This is especially true for many who make it to the Master's degree.
  • T34 COR program administrators also note that career advancement has become increasingly more difficult in many respects, for all students, not just minority students. Getting into graduate school is more difficult and getting out is even harder. The length of time it takes to complete the Ph.D. is a deterrent for many students, especially when they learn how difficult it is to get an academic position and, after that, tenure. Once they get an academic position, they learn how difficult it is to obtain research funding.
  • On the other hand, according to some numbers and anecdotal reports from T34 COR program administrators, the majority of the trainees who have been successfully tracked through their graduate training and beyond, are in academic (teaching) settings. The second largest group is employed in academic/research environments followed by industry and government. Program administrators estimate, however, that the number of individuals who have obtained research support from the Public Health Service and other federal entities and private sources is relatively low. Some individuals are able to obtain funds from private foundations, their own institutions and other sources to support research projects, which allow student participation. Many publish despite the fact that they may not have an R01 or similar independent research grant.
  • What is needed to ensure that students continue along the research career trajectory requires more focused attention and effort from both the Federal granting organizations as well as those who train and mentor students.32

The committee would add to this the need to focus on the value added by the program as well as ultimate attainments.

How to Help Trainees Succeed

When T34 U*STAR administrators on campus were asked to describe a successful trainee, they had no trouble relating stories of students who completed the program, earned a Ph.D. from a prestigious institution, did a postdoctoral fellowship, and went on to a successful career in academic or industrial research. The program elements that appeared to be key to the success of these students were exposure to research, the extramural summer research program, and mentoring. Indeed, when program administrators were asked about what “alerts” there are that a trainee is having difficulties and what they do to help students deal with them, they focused on two key tools they have at their disposal: monitoring and mentoring.

Program administrators monitor the progress of students in a variety of ways. Four administrators noted that they have access to trainee grades and review them periodically. In smaller programs, the administrator meets directly with trainees. In larger programs, mentors provide the administrator with information through phone calls or periodic reports (monthly, quarterly, or at the end of a semester) on student progress in summer research or academics. Student progress can also be gauged by the quality of their work in laboratories, weekly seminars, and presentations.

When monitoring suggests a problem, keeping students on track typically requires mentoring, and each administrator noted the importance of this. As one administrator put it, “Students … do better in a context where there's some peer involvement and where somebody is paying attention to them.” Another argued, “I don't think you can ever overemphasize what mentoring is for students—well, for people in general, but certainly for students. So I think that where, in a lot of cases these things may be personal issues, they will not feel comfortable going to a faculty member who's just teaching them in the class. So I think the way we do it is through both initiation from the student … [and] being close enough and being involved with the students enough that you just sort of know these things.”

The periodicity of meetings with students varies. Some administrators said that mentors meet with students weekly and others every two weeks. One said, “I see the students all the time. Remember, [this institution] is a small place. I am the adviser for the students, academic adviser for the students.”

To reinforce the notion that mentoring—and having the right mentor—is important, one administrator also related the story of a trainee who was receiving no guidance from her mentor and was floundering. After she spoke with the administrator about her problem, he … “talked to the mentor and came to the conclusion that things were not going to improve. The problem wasn't with the student.” So the administrator moved the trainee out of that mentor's laboratory and into another, where she “blossomed like crazy. I think if we would have kept her in the first one, she would have probably darn near dropped out of school. She was really distressed.”

Program administrators may act as mentors themselves, but most programs typically have many mentors with whom students work. The level of interaction between administrators and mentors appears to vary. One has “occasional phone calls” with mentors. Another has irregular contact on an “as-needed basis” but, each fall, has a luncheon for all of the faculty mentors. Another organizes a symposium for students and mentors at which the students make presentations. At the other end of the spectrum, one administrator receives a progress report from each mentor and student on the trainee's research progress every semester. Another was a former dean and so knows all of the faculty personally, has a good relationship with them, and knows who is and is not a good mentor. Another meets face-to-face with mentors at the end of each summer and once each semester.

Issues for Improvement

Program administrators did not report many areas for improvement. As noted, one reported that, in response to the program evaluation, they were trying to engage in more outreach to increase the number of program applicants. This did not appear to be an issue at other institutions. Administrators at other institutions reported that there were many more program applicants than slots.

Two program administrators noted issues of concern related to research infrastructure. This administrator at a large institution reported, “One problem we don't have is finding research opportunities here for the students. And certainly, other institutions … lot of times, they send their students out elsewhere for the summer.” However, another administrator related, “Coming from a research university and being, now, at a teaching university, I certainly recognize the limitations we have at teaching universities in terms of facilities, resources, et cetera. The grants are supposed to help with that. But, at the same time, there has got to be some institutional support…. The reviews come back: ‘Well, you don't really have the infrastructure to do this.' That's a very difficult thing to deal with because many of the campuses don't have a real strong research infrastructure.” Further, valid comparisons with minority students who are enrolled at institutions where there is a substantial research infrastructure are difficult to make under these circumstances, because such institutions are not generally awarded these programs unless they are minority-serving institutions to begin with.

(T34) U*STAR Student Outcomes

The number of T34 U*STAR trainees interviewed was small, and the trainee response data are not likely to be representative of the larger universe of trainees. Still, the committee notes that among T34 U*STAR respondents there was considerable progress, and the outcomes they report are similar to those reported by campus administrators and other sources. At the time they were surveyed, nearly all T34 U*STAR respondents reported that they had graduated from the program and almost one-half of all respondents had already earned either a master's degree or the Ph.D. A third had already authored or coauthored and published at least one academic paper, and one-tenth had already been awarded grants for research.

Similarly, T34 U*STAR program administrators interviewed for this study reported a high level of success among program participants. Administrators reported such success rates for their individual programs as “85-90 percent of trainees complete the program,” “almost 100 percent of trainees complete the program (only one has dropped in 24 years),” and “93 percent of our students have graduated.” One administrator did not provide a completion rate but did report that 52 percent of trainees who complete the program go on to Ph.D. programs around the country and that MARC students are more likely than other minority undergraduates to go on to graduate school.

In a 1995 assessment of the MARC Honors programs, which MARC T34 U*STAR replaced in 1996, NIGMS found similar rates of student progress. For former MARC students through the 1986 cohort, 94.8 percent had obtained a baccalaureate, a level similar to that reported by T34 U*STAR trainees and program administrators in the current survey. At the postbaccalaureate level, 16.1 percent had obtained a terminal master's degree, 13.0 percent had earned a research doctorate (Ph.D.), 24.9 percent had earned a clinical doctorate (M.D.), and 1.3 percent had earned an M.D.-Ph.D.33 Thus, 55 percent of MARC Honors participants earned postbaccalaureate degrees, which T34 U*STAR students appear to be on track to equal or exceed.

Almost one-half of those Honors trainees who earned postbaccalaureate degrees earned the M.D., and it is unclear from the data whether or not a similar percentage of T34 U*STAR trainees will follow suit. When asked what they expect their highest degree will be, a sizable minority of T34 U*STAR respondents said the M.D. However, when asked the highest degree received so far, none reported having received the M.D. degree at the time of the survey.

Again, it is not possible to distinguish between growing new talent and harvesting abilities already present, but this sketch appears to confirm the overall success of students in the T34 U*STAR program. However, there appears to be variability in how successful institutions are in moving students to program completion and on to matriculation in graduate school.

(T34) COR Student Outcomes

The number of T34 COR trainees interviewed was small, and the trainee response data are not likely to be representative of the larger universe of trainees. At the time they were surveyed, nearly all T34 COR respondents reported that they had graduated from the program and most respondents had already earned either a Master's Degree or a Ph.D. One-fifth reported they had authored or coauthored papers, and one-tenth reported having obtained one or more research grants.

In May 2001, the National Advisory Mental Health Council's Workgroup on Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Research Training and Health Disparities Research issued a report on racial/ethnic diversity in mental health research careers. This workgroup drew on the findings of an October 1999 Workshop on NIMH Minority Training Programs and NIMH staff analysis of data collected about student progress under NIMH's minority training programs.34 The data on student progress reported by the working group and staff analysis were particularly impressive, suggesting that at least 85 percent of all participants in the T34 COR program had already completed and graduated with bachelor's degrees. Most of the remaining participants were, at the time, still enrolled.

Moreover, of 895 trainees who had graduated from the 15 programs that had been funded by T34 COR, 60 percent (540) had already earned an advanced degree (master's degree, Ph.D., M.D., M.D.-Ph.D., or other.) Although aggregate data on student progress were obtained for all 15 programs, more detailed data were obtained by NIMH staff on 11 programs, 10 of which were old enough to provide a reasonably detailed illustration of student progress. Data on these 10 programs are provided in Table 3-2. For this group of 10 programs, 87 percent of participants had already graduated. Of those who had graduated, 44 percent had earned an advanced degree.

TABLE 3-2 . Indicators of Degree Progress for Ten (T34) COR Institutional Programs .

TABLE 3-2

Indicators of Degree Progress for Ten (T34) COR Institutional Programs .

Three programs provided even more detailed data as shown in Table 3-3. For these programs, the percentage of all participants who had graduated ranged from 80 to 99 percent. Of those who graduated, between 71 and 96 percent had been accepted into graduate school, between 16 and 39 percent were either in graduate or medical school, and 37 to 55 percent had earned advanced degrees.

TABLE 3-3 . Detailed Indicators of Degree Progress for Three (T34) COR Institutional Programs .

TABLE 3-3

Detailed Indicators of Degree Progress for Three (T34) COR Institutional Programs .

This sketch appears to confirm the overall success of students in the T34 COR program. At the workshop in October 1999, T34 COR training directors commented on this level of student success as summarized in an NIMH staff report:

PIs and other participants in the October Workshop expressed the opinion that it is probably not reasonable to expect undergraduate students to commit to long-range plans for a research career. In fact, they believe the kind of outcomes witnessed in the T34 COR are outstanding, especially in the absence of more clearly defined and communicated vertical and horizontal career development support options. At this level, the incentives for pursuing a research career are not clear to students. The NIMH/NIH need to work with training institutions to help educate young people about the positive and exciting aspects of scientific pursuit.

The T34 COR programs graduating high percentages of students also enter and complete further research training tend to have enthusiastic and highly motivated faculty, usually multi-ethnic who themselves are engaged in some form of research. These programs offer expanded curricula (involving multiple departments), supplemented with on- and off-campus research and didactic experiences that create a climate of scientific enquiry [that] also embraces non-T34 COR students. These programs require trainee attendance and presentations at local, regional, and national scientific meetings, independent research projects, and they also offer intense career and academic counseling and communications skills development. A sizeable number [of trainees] co-author publications with their mentors in reputable scientific journals. Hence, they are already contributing scientifically to mental health related science at this stage of their training.35

There appears to be variability in the success with which institutions are successful in moving students to program completion and on to matriculation in graduate school. Again, the comments of T34 COR training directors on this variability as summarized in an NIMH staff report is instructive:

The T34 COR training directors caution that judging success of a program can and should be done at many levels using many criteria. They emphasize this because T34 COR programs at different institutions are unique, and should be evaluated for their unique contributions and not compared with each other or judged against mainstream programs.36

Conclusion

Overall, the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs appear to work for most program participants. Both programs appear to have substantial success in moving students through to program completion and the baccalaureate. Estimates of program completion range from 85 to 99 percent, depending on the program. Eighty-nine percent of T34 U*STAR trainees interviewed have completed the program. This is similar to the 87 percent of T34 COR respondents who eventually graduate. The many important and useful features of the program include the opportunity to engage in a hands-on research experience, the availability of mentoring, and the financial support provided by these programs. All are central to the programs and to their success. In the course of reviewing these programs, however, there are areas for further review that may lead to program enhancement. These areas are described briefly below.

Demographics and Recruitment. T34 U*STAR and T34 COR respondents were overwhelmingly female. Program administrators reported a need for greater outreach to African-American males.

Financial Support. There are differences of opinion about whether trainees should work for wages or salaries while in the program. One T34 U*STAR program administrator said that because the stipend of $10,500 was not enough for some students, trainees work on the side. Also, a sizable minority of T34 U*STAR and T34 COR trainees reported earning wages or salaries while in the program. Another administrator, however, screens students to make sure that they do not work outside the program, saying that such work distracts students from their studies and is a “recipe for failure.”

Research. The research experience is a central feature of the T34 U*STAR and T34 COR programs. The adequacy of the research infrastructure available to trainees, however, appears to be an issue for at least some of the recipient institutions. Recipient institutions tend to focus on providing access to higher education for lower-income and minority students. Because of this they tend to be institutions that focus on teaching rather than research and tend to charge lower tuition. One consequence is that they do not have the kind of research infrastructure that a more research-intensive institution could provide. This creates a certain tension because the research experience is critical to the success of the T34 U*STAR program and developing an interest among students in scientific research. NIGMS recognizes this problem and has, since the inception of the T34 U*STAR program, required recipient institutions to develop opportunities for extramural research projects for their trainees. This is mandatory for the summer research experience and may also be developed as necessary for research projects during the academic year. Whether recipient institutions are providing a high-quality research experience under these arrangements should be investigated further by NIGMS.

Student Career Goals. A perennial issue, more pertinent to T34 U*STAR than to T34 COR, is whether a student who goes on to earn an M.D. degree should be considered a success for the program. One T34 U*STAR administrator indicated that they screen out students who plan to go to medical school. Another has each trainee sign an agreement to drop out of the program if he or she decided to go to medical school. However, although no T34 U*STAR respondents had yet earned a M.D., more than one-fifth said they planned to. This percentage is similar to the nearly one-quarter of MARC Honors graduates who reported later earning the M.D. degree.

National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health. 1992. Initiative for Minority Students: Bridges to the Baccalaureate (Program announcement, PAR-02-084). See http://grants2​.nih.gov​/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-02-084.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences and Office of Research on Minority Health, National Institutes of Health. Undated. Planning and Priorities of the Bridges to the Future Program. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, undated. See. http://nigms​.nih.gov​/news/reports/bridges.html.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities (NIMH interim staff report). Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health. August 1995. A Study of the Minority Access to Research Careers Honors Undergraduate Research Training Program. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities, NIMH interim staff report. Bethesda, MD.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities (NIMH interim staff report). Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities, NIMH interim staff report. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Footnotes

29

National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health. 1992. Initiative for Minority Students: Bridges to the Baccalaureate (Program announcement, PAR-02-084). See http://grants2​.nih.gov​/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-02-084.

30

National Institute of General Medical Sciences and Office of Research on Minority Health, National Institutes of Health. Undated. Planning and Priorities of the Bridges to the Future Program. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, undated. See. http://nigms​.nih.gov​/news/reports/bridges.html.

31

See http://nces​.ed.gov//programs/coe/.

32

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities (NIMH interim staff report). Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

33

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health. August 1995. A Study of the Minority Access to Research Careers Honors Undergraduate Research Training Program. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

34

National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities, NIMH interim staff report. Bethesda, MD.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

35

National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities (NIMH interim staff report). Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

36

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. Undated. NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities, NIMH interim staff report. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright © 2005, National Academy of Sciences.
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