What's Next for the DPC in Phase II?

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Contact Info: christa.reynolds@nih.gov

What's Next for the DPC in Phase II?

After over a year of renewal activities, program assessment, and patiently waiting, we are thrilled that Phase II of the Diversity Program Consortium has begun! The continuation of this exciting experiment presents an opportunity to continue working as a consortium that includes awardees from across the country and input from multiple NIH institutes. The DPC Phase II evolution will allow the awardees to increase their focus on sustainability and dissemination – important aspects for all funded DPC projects including those which were renewed and the new awardees joining the consortium for Phase II.

Now, during Phase II, we are looking forward to learning more about outcomes from the interventions developed during Phase I and sharing findings with the broader community interested in research training and mentoring. This will help increase the consortium’s reach and amplify the positive impact of the research being done by DPC awardees. The DPC’s method of taking a scientific approach to understand training interventions is an innovative design that is likely to serve as a model for biomedical training programs across the country.

During the next five years, the consortium will include some familiar faces. The 10 BUILD sites and the CEC were renewed through limited competitions, allowing for continuity in the consortium-wide evaluation and data collection, and for further refinement of interventions.

The structure of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) has been revised, and the scientific scope of the program was expanded. NRMN Phase II was an open competition, and applicants were encouraged to present varied approaches to research the science of mentorship, networking and navigating critical career transition points. In Phase II, the NRMN will be a set of cooperative agreements, including a Resource Center, a Coordination Center and 11 projects that will explore “The Science of Mentoring, Networking, and Navigating Career Transition Points.”

In addition, two new initiatives have been added to the DPC for Phase II. Because they are open competitions for institutions that are not currently in the DPC, we want to spread the word and encourage all eligible institutions to apply. Although current BUILD, CEC and NRMN awardees are ineligible, partner institutions may fit the eligibility requirements:

The DPC remains a true collaborative effort, including over a hundred institutions, researchers, students, mentors, and administrators. It has been remarkable to see the progress being made during Phase I, and we are looking forward to working together during this next Phase.

Phase II Snapshots: BUILD, NRMN, CEC

BUilding Infrastructure Leading to Diversity

BUILD PODER – California State University, Northridge

CSUN BUILD PODERPromoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education & Research – With a framework of critical race theory, the BUILD PODER I initiative at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), reported excellent student outcomes and unique institutional and faculty initiatives. With as many as 130 trainees concurrently, BUILD PODER’s students were recruited from four community colleges and 16 departments. Occupying CSUN’s first research building, BUILD PODER I’s four new cluster hired faculty members in Health Sciences and Psychology are forming the Health Equity Research and Education (HERE) Center, the program’s home for sustainability for Phase II.

CSULB BUILD – California State University, Long Beach

CSULB BUILDIn Phase I, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) BUILD added new research-focused courses and faculty mentoring workshops, and worked to establish a research culture supportive of undergraduate students. They have also begun to institutionalize student training program components within offices and centers on campus. BUILD Phase II includes transition plans to fully institutionalize program components and leverage institutional commitments to test innovative training components for sustainment by the university after the NIH BUILD funding ends.

San Franscisco BUILD – San Francisco State University, UC San Francisco 


Enabling Full Representation in Science – Several of the SF BUILD models, initiatives and dissemination efforts have been institutionalized during Phase I. SF BUILD focuses on linking the lived experiences and values of students and faculty to health disparities research and enabling them to become “agents of change.” The overall goal is to contribute to national efforts for greater social justice and inclusion in biomedical research. The social justice value is anchored in the institutional culture of San Francisco State University (SF State), and promoting greater inclusion in biomedical research is an institutional directive for the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). As an ongoing research partner in Phase II, UCSF, aims to become the most inclusive academic medical institution in the country.

BLaST – University of Alaska, Fairbanks

UAF BLaSTBiomedical Learning and Student Training Program – During Phase I, BLaST worked on outreach to students over a large geographic area, including students who are of American Indian and Alaska Native backgrounds, and rural students. The program utilizes a “One Health” paradigm intended to resonate with target student populations. They also developed the Research Advising and Mentoring Professional (RAMPs) position, which helps to provide outreach and mentoring to trainees throughout Alaska.

BUILD EXITO – Portland State University

Enhancing Cross-disciplinary Infrastructure and Training at Oregon – In Phase II, BUILD EXITO will be guided by four principles: Sustainability, Enhancement, Evaluation, and Dissemination. Nine of the original 11 institutions will remain in the BUILD EXITO partnership and continue their efforts to institutionalize the program’s research courses, professional development workshops, long-term research placements, summer intensive seminars, and multi-tiered mentoring strategy. At Portland State University, many of these initiatives will be sustained through the proposed creation of a new Office of Undergraduate Research.

BUILDing SCHOLARS – University of Texas, El Paso

BUILDing SCHOLARS UTEPSouthwest Consortium of Health-Oriented Education Leaders and Research Scholars – With its strong institutional support for sustaining successful programs, the goal of BUILDing SCHOLARS is to continue the high momentum achieved during Phase I to contribute to the diversity of the U.S. biomedical research workforce, with large numbers of underrepresented students graduating and matriculating in excellent graduate programs, and with faculty achieving high level grant funding and impactful publications.

ReBUILDetroit – University of Detroit Mercy

ReBUILDetroitResearch Enhancement for BUILDing Detroit – The ReBUILDetroit program is led by the University of Detroit Mercy with research partner Wayne State University and pipeline partner Henry Ford College. A unique feature of ReBUILDetroit is its early recruitment of underrepresented students, prior to their start as freshman, and subsequent intense mentoring of students throughout their undergraduate careers. 


University of Maryland, Baltimore County – STEM BUILD

STEM BUILD UMBCIn Phase II, the STEM BUILD motto, “Think 500, not 50,” will continue by refining, scaling-up, and sustaining the interventions started in Phase I. The training core will expand novel curricula and change its focus to support promising direct-entry BUILD Training Program students during their first two years at UMBC with follow-up support to BTP affiliate alumni for research and presentation experiences. Under the research core, STEM BUILD summer internships for students from our collaborating institutions will expand from six to eight weeks and will continue with peer mentor team support.

Xavier University of Louisiana – Project Pathways

Project Pathways was designed to address barriers that impede URM undergraduates from pursuing biomedical research careers, such as a lack of supportive relationships and suitable educational infrastructure. The program initiatives include, but are not limited to, research shadowing and career panels to introduce students to biomedical research; hands-on mentored research both on- and off-campus; opportunities to attend and present at scientific meetings; and near-peer mentoring by graduate students at local partner institutions. These initiatives, as well as academic support services and advising to boost student academic performance, are designed to provide students with the support and skills they need to succeed.

Morgan State University – ASCEND 

MSU ASCENDA Student-Centered, Entrepreneurship Development Training Model – An innovative aspect of Phase I of the ASCEND program was developing an entrepreneurial research training model for undergraduates pursuing biomedical science degrees. This model allowed for undergraduate students to lead their research, from developing the idea to writing the proposal and conducting the study. Central to many of the student-led activities was the Student Research Center, an organization led by undergraduate students. During Phase I, ASCEND also implemented faculty- and institutional-development interventions, such as offering pilot research grants, community-based participatory research mini-grants, and course redesign grants, to name a few. As a result of Phase I, the number of undergraduate students engaged in biomedical research at Morgan State University (MSU) has increased substantially; a student-centered research and teaching mindset is becoming the norm, and faculty have become substantially more well-versed with submission, acquiring, and management of grants.

National Research Mentoring Network

Phase II of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) includes 11 unique research projects that make up the Science of Mentoring, Networking, and Navigating Career Transition Points (RFA-RM-18-004) segment. Using robust experimental designs, the projects are intended to expand the scientific scope of the NRMN initiative by exploring a variety of evidence-based mentoring and networking approaches to advance careers of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in the biomedical research workforce.

NRMN Coordination Center – Using best practices in organizational design, the NRMN Coordination Center will catalyze and support synergistic interactions among the NRMN Resource Center and multiple research projects focused on the science of mentorship, professional development, and networking. Specifically, the NRMN Coordination Center will create the infrastructure to support substantial coordination, collection, storage, tracking, and reporting of all NRMN data as well as implement responsive communication strategies that will effectively and efficiently build communities of inclusive practice, foster research innovations, and disseminate key findings.

NRMN Resource Center – The NRMN Resource Center provides a web-based mentoring tool to facilitate mentor-mentee engagement and networking. During Phase II, the Center will refine the existing MyNRMN application and other services offered through the NRMNet website. This Center also oversees management of the NRMN website, reports on outputs from NRMN components and will create a platform for publicly available mentoring resources and tools.

The Coordination & Evaluation Center 

enhance Diversity logoThe Coordination & Evaluation Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, was renewed through a limited competition, which will allow for continuity in the consortium-wide evaluation and data collection, and in fulfilling their role in facilitating consortium-wide activities. To support the increased focus on dissemination during Phase II, a “Communications and Dissemination Core” has been added to the CEC. This core will collaborate with the consortium to help expand the reach of dissemination efforts, and also work on internal DPC communications processes. 

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
Need Assistance? Please contact our support team: info@diversityprogramconsortium.org .