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NC State Receives $2.1 Million Grant to Promote Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Research

North Carolina State University has received a four-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to encourage students from traditionally underrepresented groups to complete Ph.D. degree programs in the fields of biomedical and behavioral sciences.

The NIH’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity program will provide funding for undergraduate students to work in the research labs of academic mentors during the year, as well as funding for summer research jobs. These undergraduates will be expected to enter into graduate programs in the biomedical or behavioral science fields after completing their undergraduate education.

“Ideally, we want to increase the diversity within Ph.D. pools for universities and industry to draw from,” says David Shafer, assistant dean of the graduate school. “This grant is about more than just research funding – it provides mentoring, group learning and professional development opportunities, and will result in students who are extremely well-prepared to pursue either further study or jobs in their field.”

The grant will also provide selected graduate students with research assistantships during the first two years of their Ph.D. programs, including tuition, health insurance and stipend.

Up to 35 undergraduate students and 10 graduate students will be funded over the four years. The first students will receive funding in 2008.

The grant is aimed at both recruiting and retaining students in underrepresented populations, with a goal of at least 75 percent of the undergraduates entering a Ph.D. program, and 95 percent of graduate students successfully completing the Ph.D.

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