UAMS Receives $2.45M Grant to Boost Doctoral Grants to Minorities, Disabled

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced Wednesday that it has received a $2.45 million federal grant to help increase the number of minority and disabled students graduating with doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences.

The National Institutes of Health training grant will run through 2019. Also, the UAMS Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program has renewed for five years, supported by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, according to a news release. 

The IMSD program at UAMS, one of just 48 such programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the country, was designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups, including minorities and individuals with disabilities, graduating with doctorates in the biomedical sciences. In the program’s first five years, UAMS has funded 20 students.

Dr. Billy Thomas, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, and Dr. Robert McGehee, dean of the UAMS Graduate School, serve as co-principal investigators on the grant with Dr. Kristen Sterba as the co-investigator.

"In the first five years of this grant we have been able to build formal partnerships with several undergraduate institutions both in Arkansas and in surrounding states," said Robert McGehee, dean of the UAMS Graduate School.

"It takes time for these programs to mature and this year we will be celebrating our first Ph.D. graduates. These are amazingly competitive grants, and getting renewed makes a strong statement about how highly respected our program is within the NIH and our peers around the country."