Preparing the next generation of diverse biomedical researchers: The university of north Texas health science center's initiative for maximizing student development (IMSD) predoctoral program

Harlan P. Jones, Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, Thomas Yorio, Johnny He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The National Science Foundation (NSF) reports that underrepresented minority students are just as interested as their White counterparts in majoring in science upon entering college.1 However, the numbers of those receiving bachelors' degrees, attending graduate school, and earning doctorates remain lower than their White peers. To close this gap, the National Institutes of General Medical Science's (NIGMS) Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) at University of Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) supports the timely completion of PhD degrees by underrepresented students and their transition into successful biomedical research careers. Throughout UNTHSC's IMSD training program, we have designed interventions anchored by the central hypothesis that PhD attainment requires attentiveness to multiple factors (knowledge, psychosocial, financial and self-efficacy). An assessment of program outcomes demonstrates a progressive increase in trainee retention. Importantly, not-withstanding quantitative measurable outcomes, trainee and mentor evaluations express the value in addressing multiple factors relevant to their success. Since 1996, our cumulative success of underrepresented minority students completing the doctorate increased from 64% (1996) to 84% completion (2018). Herein, we describe the UNTHSC IMSD training approach spanning its performance over two five-year cycles (2004-2008; 2009-2013) and new interventions created from lessons learned that influenced UNTHSC's newly awarded IMSD program (2017-2022).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020



  • Biomedical Workforce
  • Doctoral Training
  • Mentoring
  • Underrepresented Minority

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