Dr. Kimberly Petersen, an Associate Professor in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has received a new $1.5 M NIH grant to fund UNCG’s U-RISE program for the next five years. The U-RISE program — formerly called the MARC U-Star program — seeks to increase the percentage of underrepresented students who pursue graduate studies in preparation for careers in biomedical research. Petersen was lead PI on the proposal; co-PIs are Dr. Lee Phillips, director of the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office (URSCO), and Dr. Sherine Obare, Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.
Read the abstract below. Learn more about UNCG’s U-RISE program here.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) U-RISE will be a comprehensive undergraduate training program that will directly contribute to increasing the percentage of underrepresented (UR) students pursuing graduate studies in preparation for careers in the biomedical research workforce. The proposed U-RISE Fellows program will leverage an array of activities designed to promote academic and social integration, knowledge and skill development, support and motivation, and monitoring and advising. Our program will use merit- and need-based criteria to select U-RISE Fellows from our large pool of academically talented UR students. The UNCG U-RISE program will engage these Fellows in substantive research projects leading to comprehensive basic laboratory and evaluation skills. A quality pool of research faculty is available to mentor Fellows and sponsor their research projects. Our multidisciplinary program will sustain academic, professional, and social development with enrichment strategies that include community building activities, co-curricular instruction, and intensive research workshops and experiences. The ultimate goal of our program is to prepare Fellows for success in PhD level training in biomedical sciences by ensuring competency in research fundamentals and requisite professional and science communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. We will also prepare these students by networking them into the existing community of underrepresented scientists, postdoctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students via participation in relevant societies and professional meetings. A multidisciplinary environment is integrated throughout our program and reinforced in its academic enhancement core. Effective interdisciplinary research teams are more likely when participants have broader exposure and understanding of complementary disciplines. Community-engaged activities, historical hallmarks of UNCG’s identity, will provide perspective on the translational and social impacts of biomedical research.