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FLC awarded $1,185,000 to prepare students for biomedical research careers
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FLC awarded $1,185,000 to prepare students for biomedical research careers

Fort Lewis College has been awarded a five-year $1,185,000 grant from the National Institute of General and Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The funding comes from the Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) and will provide support to undergraduate students at FLC, who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, prepare for graduate training in a research-based Ph.D. program. The Principal Investigator of the grant is Steven Fenster, professor of Biology and associate dean of the Division of Science, Engineering, & Mathematics.

The FLC U-RISE grant replaces the highly successful FLC MARC grant. Over the past 10 years, the MARC grant has funded research activities for 30 students with many matriculating to highly competitive graduate programs in the sciences including the University of California-Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Johns Hopkins University, University of Arizona, University of California-San Francisco, and many others.

U-RISE is centered around creating an inclusive research environment for students. Faculty will be focusing on students’ skills development, research rigor and reproducibility, and responsible and safe conduct of research. Students will participate in peer recruitment and cohort-building activities as well as networking with professional scientists.

Other program benefits include:

  • Lab safety training
  • Critical thinking & problem solving (GRE preparation)
  • Financial literacy
  • Individualized mentoring 
  • Introduction to a variety of scientific research areas and career trajectories

U-RISE students will work on faculty-directed research projects about 12 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer. The capstone of the program is a summer research experience at a research-intensive university.

“Students work closely with their faculty mentors at Fort Lewis to develop and complete an independent research project,” says Fenster. “Students are highly encouraged to present their research findings at national and regional meetings where they can interact with other students and scientists.”

"Students work closely with their faculty mentors at Fort Lewis to develop and complete an independent research project. Students are highly encouraged to present their research findings at national and regional meetings where they can interact with other students and scientists."

STEVEN FENSTER

The U-RISE program’s requirements are:

  • Rising junior
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences
  • Must major in Biology, Biochemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, the Health Sciences, Public Health, Physics, or Psychology

U-RISE students receive financial assistance for tuition and fees, a monthly stipend, travel assistance for scientific meetings, funding for research supplies and materials, and financial support for health insurance.

U-RISE students will start their program on May 1, 2021, overlapping with the final month of the MARC grant which will conclude May 31, 2021.

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