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Feig Aids Detroit STEM

Cottrell Scholar Andrew Feig, Wayne State University, had a big hand in designing much of the educational agenda that convinced the National Institutes of Health to award a consortium of Wayne State and three other Detroit-area schools $21.2 million over five years to improve student diversity in biochemical research.

The grant was awarded through the NIH’s Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) initiative, created to get more minority and economically disadvantaged students in the STEM pipeline, expose students to research in laboratories and enhance the research-training environment.                                                                                    

Wayne State will serve as the research partner in the consortium,” Feig said. “As such, it will mentor faculty from other institutions in research skills, provide research-training opportunities, and provide skills development in grant applications, graduate school preparedness, and networking opportunities.”

The Detroit consortium’s project is called REBUILD Detroit — an acronym for Research Enhancement for Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity. During the first year of the grant, the four partner institutions will redesign their curriculum with an emphasis on peer mentoring, early introduction to laboratory research and dedicated faculty advising. The program will recruit its first cohort of students in the second year and begin their training.  

Studies have shown students from underrepresented backgrounds enter early biomedical research training in numbers that reflect the general population, but they are less likely to persist, according to a consortium press release.

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