Grants and Contracts Details


Principal Investigator: O’Connor, Kathleen A. Program Summary/Abstract Most scientists develop their passion for research during their undergraduate research opportunities when maturity, knowledge and drive are coupled with the opportunity to explore science through research. However, various circumstances can prevent students from taking advantage of these opportunities or prevent them from being able to advance their careers through competitive admissions to professional schools, such as biomedical sciences PhD, public health, medical, nursing or pharmacy programs. Alternatively, students may choose gap years to develop their skills and maturity for the challenges of professional school programs. The formative years are an optimal time to invest in our individuals from underrepresented minority and underserved groups. This program seeks to create mentored research opportunities for post-baccalaureate science majors from underrepresented and/or underserved populations by partnering with the undergraduate campus at UK and surrounding colleges and universities such as Kentucky State University, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). Applicants will be holistically judged on aptitude for science, goals for their professional careers, needs that can be addressed by a post-baccalaureate program, an essay of why they want to be in the program and letters of support. Underrepresented minorities (URM) make up a small fraction of scientists and leadership in cancer research. Much of this disparity is a result of structural racism in our educational system that has led to dramatic inequities in terms of opportunities, proactive mentorship and advancement in science-based careers. These inequities also extend to our underserved populations. To reverse this inequity, proactive and specialized opportunities are needed to create a robust and confident pipeline of URM researchers in science and medical fields. We expect that by creating these opportunities we will tap into great sources of creativity that foster a stronger, more knowledgeable and innovative workforce in scientific research and medicine. Furthermore, the critical thinking skills developed by cutting edge research lays the foundation of critical leadership skills. We developed the Markey Science Training in Research, Oncology, Networking, and professional Growth (STRONG) Post-baccalaureate Fellows Program as parts of a contiguous pipeline of training with the purpose of increasing the number of individuals who are from groups underrepresented in biomedical research. The opportunities afforded through this program will build the critical skills and confidence that will ensure their success and allow scholars/interns to contribute their talents to our fight to end mortality from cancer. The Markey STRONG Post-baccalaureat Fellows Program is designed to advance the scholar’s knowledge, critical thinking skills, technical skills in experimentation, responsible/ethical conduct of research and networking abilities to advance their career in cancer research. Diversity in Cancer Research Internship IRG Supplement January 2021
Effective start/end date1/1/2312/31/25


  • American Cancer Society: $660,000.00


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