Visions and Transformations: The Final Report, of the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training in Psychology (CEMRRAT), found representation of persons of color markedly decreases at each succeeding level of psychology's educational pipeline (high school through postdoctoral studies). In response to this concern, the APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs (OEMA) submitted a grant application to the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in January 1996 entitled "Developing Minority Biomedical Research Talent in Psychology: A Collaborative and Systemic Approach for Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Recruitment. Retention Training, and Research."
In September 1996, OEMA was awarded a 3-year grant totaling $820,000 from NIGMS to demonstrate the effectiveness of a "systemic approach" for increasing the number of persons of color in the educational pipeline for biomedical research careers in psychology. The grant would especially target the following areas: AIDS, stress, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, substance abuse, neuroscience, gerontology, pain and its management, developmental disorders, and other areas at the intersection of health and behavior that have a disproportionally negative impact on the health and lifespan of persons of color.
In June 2000, the project was re-funded for an additional 3-year period for a total of $1.43 million. These funds will be used to continue the established programs and activities, in addition to establishing and duplicating effective program activities and facilitate the development of programmatic tracking efforts that will illustrate the impact and usefulness of the project.
The APA/NIGMS project includes 14 institutions in 5 regions of the country that comprise a Regional Center of Excellence. Each region consist of a major research university and two predominately minority serving institutions one, a 4-year institution and the other a community college. Each institution is awarded funds to implement and develop programs and activities for students of color that strengthening their capacity to purse biomedical research careers in psychology and to improve these students' rates of retention in addition to support institutional linkages between all three institutions.