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Outside mentoring support for science faculty at minority-serving institutions pays off
Date:9/4/2013

BETHESDA, MDSEPTEMBER 4, 2013A matched-peer controlled study of science faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSI) shows that an outside mentoring support program increased the number of peer-reviewed research publications, the number of federal grants, and the variety of professional and curricular activities of those who participated versus academic peers who did not.

The study, published today in the journal, CBE-Life Sciences Education, looked at outcomes from the Visiting Professorship (VP) Program, organized by the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and funded through a Minority Access to Research Careers by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Limiting the group to the 32 participants who were at least one year beyond their first involvement in the program, VP participants increased their average number of scientific publications from .84 to 1.37. The average number of research papers published by the 129 peer controls who were matched for academic rank, home institution, and home department, declined from .85 to .82, The VP participants increased the average number of new federal grants from .06 to .59 versus .03 to .16 for the peer controls. Twenty-two of the 32 VP participants also reported significant increases in academic activities that are strong indicators of professional advancement including collaborating on research, developing new or reworking current courses, drawing students into research projects, taking on new leadership roles, attending scientific meetings, and joining scientific societies.

"This is one of a handful of evaluation studies that I've seen," said ASCB Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi, PhD, "which rigorously proves with a control that minority training programs can work. Diversity in the scientific workforce is not a 'some day' goal but a necessity if American science
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Contact: John Fleischman
jfleischman@ascb.org
513-706-0212
American Society for Cell Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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