Office of the Dean
Outreach, Research Training and
Minority Science Programs (MSP)

Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences (URM)

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation

NSF Grant DBI-0731655

 

Program Announcement

 

Program Directors

Dr. Luis M. Mota-Bravo, Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs (MSP), School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Albert F. Bennett, Dean of School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Program Description

The NSF-URM Program is designed to broaden career options in biology for  undergraduates from underrepresented minority groups. The program's objective is to prepare underrepresented undergraduates to excel in PhD programs in areas of biological research supported by the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). Minority groups underrepresented in science are African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities. The NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences provides support for research to advance understanding of the underlying principles and mechanisms governing life. UCI faculty are funded by over 30 NSF-BIO grants.

 

Activities for freshmen and sophomores include faculty seminars, visits to research labs and student panels to expose them to exciting careers in biology.

 

During their junior and senior years, students are funded to conduct year-round independent research under the direction of a UCI faculty mentor, and receive preparation for successful entry into graduate programs. Program activities for juniors and seniors are integrated with  the UCI curriculum and include research seminars, courses on laboratory safety, ethics,  biostatistics, a workshop on principles and practice of biological research, a journal club, presentation of papers at local and national conferences, GRE preparation, and workshops on the graduate school application process. During the academic year, URM scholars enroll in Bio 199 independent research, receive units and a grade. The following table shows a sample of the program of activities:

 

Junior

(URM Scholar)

Summer: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series; Workshop on Principles and Practice in Biology Research; Journal Club; Full-Time Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI; Workshop on Scientific Communications; Summer Research Symposium and Summer Report; Weekly Progress Report Sessions; Monthly Academic and Career Advice

Fall: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series (Bio 197); Four Units of Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI (Bio 199); National Conference Participation; Monthly Academic and Career Advice

Winter: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series (Bio 197); Four Units of Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI (Bio 199); Monthly Academic and Career Advice

Spring: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series (Bio 197); Four Units of Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI (Bio 199); Monthly Academic and Career Advice

Senior

(URM Scholar)

Summer: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series; Full Time Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI; Journal Club; Summer Research Symposium and Summer Report; GRE Preparation; Graduate School Application Workshops How to choose a Graduate Program; How to Write a Statement of Purpose and Create a CV; Graduate Funding Opportunities; Weekly Progress Report Sessions; GRE Test; Monthly Academic and Career Advice

Fall: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series (Bio 197); Four Units of Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI (Bio 199); Participation in Excellence in Research; Application to Graduate school; Weekly Academic and Career Advice

Winter: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series (Bio 197); Four Units of Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI (Bio 199); National Conference Participation; Participation in Excellence in Research; Graduate School Interviews Practice; Monthly Academic and Career Advice

Spring: MSP Theory and Research Seminar Series (Bio 197); Four Units of Independent Research Directed by Faculty Mentors at UCI (Bio 199); Participation in Excellence in Research; Publication of a Scientific Paper; Monthly Academic and Career Advice

 

URM scholars receive financial support in the form of:

     Stipend in the amount of $12,300 per year to engage in biological research ($900/month from October to June and $1,400/month from July to September),

     Computer support and supplies to print posters and prepare presentations, and

     Funds to travel and present papers at national scientific meetings (SACNAS, Sigma Xi or AAAS).

UCI undergraduate student participants supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An undergraduate student is one who is enrolled in a UCI degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate degree. Students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates, are not eligible.

 

APPLICATION

Please download, complete and sign the NSF-URM application (Word document). With your application, please include your UCI transcript (if you have completed less than three quarters at UCI, please include an official copy of transcripts from previous colleges attended).

 

For additional information about the NSF-URM Program please contact,

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz

Associate Director/Academic Coordinator

Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs

School of Biological Sciences-Office of the Dean

University of California, Irvine

1134 Biological Sciences III

Irvine, CA 92697-2527

Ph: (949) 824-2589

Fax: (949) 824-6599

e-mail: marlene@uci.edu

 

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