Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2018

1978  The University of Texas at San Antonio  (75796)

Principal Investigator: Barea-Rodriguez, Edwin (Principal Investigator) Cassill, J (Co-PI)  

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 6,762,138

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: 6/1/18 - 5/31/23

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: COS BIOLOGY  

Department, Center, School, or Institute: Center for Research and Training in the Sciences (CRTS)  

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: UTSA RISE Research Training Program

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Natl Inst of Health

Program Title: N/A


The long term goal of the UTSA RISE Program is to cultivate exceptional underrepresented minority (URM)scientists who pursue doctoral-level careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. UTSA is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with 28,959 students (60.5% URM), 24 PhD programs, and quality research programs in fields pertinent to the NIH mission, including include medicinal chemistry, neurobiology, microbiology, stem cell science, biomedical engineering, and military mental health. UTSA is strategically pursuing Tier One research status while maintaining its commitment to the education of URM South Texas populations. In the 2012-2016 academic years, UTSA graduated 138 PhD students in RISE-supported majors; 20 were URM and 18 were RISE trainees. Over the same timeframe, 101 former UTSA UGs (53 URM and 12 from RISE) earned a doctorate in pertinent fields. The proposed RISE program will train URM students from six PhD programs and seven undergraduate (UG) majors in the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, and Biomedical Engineering. RISE requests training positions for 16 UG (reduced from 20) and 20 PhD students (increased from 16). UGs will be supported for up to four years and PhD students for five. The specific aims are: #1 Improve the current undergraduate training program content and administrative processes to further reduce trainee attrition and enhance student preparation for doctoral training; #2 Enhance the current doctoral training program by improving career and professional development training; and #3 Increase the number of URM students who are retained in STEM fields and who pursue doctoral degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The UG training sequence will be made more comprehensive and stage-appropriate, and attrition will be reduced to 15% through improved mentoring, monitoring, psychosocial training, selection practices, and competition for positions. PhD trainees will be prepared for post-graduate positions through enhanced professional experiences and intensive training for the application process. Additional innovative approaches for enhancing the number of future URM scientists will be implemented, including using RISE PhD positions to increase URM recruitment and admittance at UTSA, developing a Science Teaching Program to grow UTSA graduate students into exceptional science instructors, implementing a Science Transfer Academy (STA) to support and connect transitioning community college students with the UTSA research community, and formalizing a “volunteer” RISE training program (RISE-2 the PhD) to expand the UG training population. Through these activities, RISE proposes to increase UG matriculation from 50 to 55%, of whom 80% will be retained in their PhD programs. At least 85% of RISE PhD trainees will complete their degree. At least 65% of STA trainees will achieve a 3.0 or higher UTSA GPA in their first semester and 70% will be retained in at UTSA in STEM fields after one year. At least five additional URM PhD students will be admitted above program baselines, and at least one RISE-2 the PhD trainee will start doctoral training annually.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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