Baseline characteristics of the 2015-2019 first year student cohorts of the nih building infrastructure leading to diversity (Build) program

Keith C. Norris, Heather E. McCreath, Karsten Hueffer, Stephen B. Aley, Gabriela Chavira, Christina A. Christie, Catherine M. Crespi, Carlos Crespo, Gene D’Amour, Kevin Eagan, Lourdes E. Echegoyen, Andrew Feig, Maryam Foroozesh, Lourdes R. Guerrero, Kelly Johanson, Farin Kamangar, Laura Kingsford, William LaCourse, Nicole Marie Gerardi Maccalla, Leticia Márquez-MagañaAmbika Mathur, Kenneth Maton, Shiva Mehravaran, Danielle X. Morales, Terry Nakazono, Elizabeth Ofili, Kolawole Okuyemi, Laura Ott, Audrey Parangan-Smith, Christine Pfund, Dawn Purnell, Arleigh Reynolds, Phillip J. Rous, Carrie Saetermoe, Katherine Snyder, Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, Amy Wagler, Steven P. Wallace, Teresa Seeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The biomedical/behavioral sciences lag in the recruitment and advancement of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. In 2014 the NIH created the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), a prospective, multi-site study comprising 10 Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) institutional grantees, the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and a Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC). This article describes baseline characteristics of four incoming, first-year student cohorts at the primary BUILD institutions who completed the Higher Education Research Institute, The Freshmen Survey between 2015-2019. These freshmen are the primary student cohorts for longitudinal analyses comparing outcomes of BUILD program participants and non-participants. Design: Baseline description of first-year students entering college at BUILD institutions during 2015-2019. Setting: Ten colleges/universities that each received <$7.5mil/yr in NIH Research Project Grants and have high proportions of low-income students. Participants: First-year undergraduate students who participated in BUILD-sponsored activities and a sample of non-BUILD students at the same BUILD institutions. A total of 32,963 first-year students were enrolled in the project; 64% were female, 18% Hispanic/Latinx, 19% African American/Black, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 17% Asian, and 29% White. Twenty-seven percent were from families with an income <$30,000/yr and 25% were their family’s first generation in college. Planned Outcomes: Primary student outcomes to be evaluated over time include undergraduate biomedical degree completion, entry into/completion of a graduate biomedical degree program, and evidence of excelling in biomedical research and scholarship. Conclusions: The DPC national evaluation has identified a large, longitudinal cohort of students with many from groups historically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences that will inform institutional/ national policy level initiatives to help diversify the biomedical workforce. Ethn Dis. 2020;30(4):681-692; doi:10.18865/ ed.30.4.681

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-692
Number of pages12
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Biomedical Research
  • Diversity
  • Underrepresented Students
  • Workforce Training


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