November 30, 2004

Successful APA Sponsored Program Continues to Attract Ethnic-Minorities into the Biomedical Sciences; Receives New $1.6 Million Grant

14 Educational institutions across U.S. participate to increase the number of minorities in the biomedical research field

WASHINGTON - A program administered by the American Psychological Association (APA) that is increasing the number of ethnic-minority students in the educational pipeline for biomedical research careers in psychology will continue, thanks to a new $1.6 million grant from the Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

The program, begun in 1996 and administered by APA's Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, funds five regional centers that partner predominantly minority colleges with major research institutions to expose college students to careers in biomedical areas of psychology and mentor them as they make the transition to graduate school. The biomedical field involves a wide-variety of psychological research, including AIDS, stress, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, substance abuse, neuroscience, gerontology, pain and its management, developmental disorders and other issues that involve health and behavior with disproportionately negative effects on the health and lifespan of ethnic minorities.

The grant money will allow the APA/NIGMS project to build on its success and place a new emphasis on tracking how well students make the transition to graduate school and get jobs in the biomedical field, according to psychologist Bertha G. Holliday, Ph.D., director of APA's Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs. "We are beginning to see that tracking students as they progress through the educational pipeline not only provides rich project outcome data, but it also serves to further strengthen the relationship between students and their project mentor, and this in turn seems to increase students' resolve to continue their education and research," said Dr. Holliday.

Since the project began, 77 percent of the community college student participants have continued on to four-year institutions. Twenty-one percent of students who earned a bachelor's degrees went on to pursue a master's degree and 28 percent enrolled in a doctoral program.

For a list of participating institutions and additional information, visit tha APA Web site - programs.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.