Mission of the Yale BioMed Amgen Scholars Program
As leaders of training programs leading to PhD and MD/PhD degrees, we are aware of many systemic barriers that make it difficult to achieve the desired diversity among our trainees. Potential students may grow up in settings without researcher role models; they and their families may not understand how to prepare for or access graduate training, and they may not recognize the breadth of careers available after PhD training. Students may also see few PhD or MD/PhD trainees or scientists from similar backgrounds to theirs, and not realize that this pathway is attainable, and provides significant means to "give back" to their communities. Equally important, potential trainees may not have access to research laboratories at their institutions, training in rigorous scientific reading and thinking, excellent advising from peer and faculty mentors about preparation for graduate training, or sponsorship in support of their educational and enrichment opportunities.
Four years ago, we established a pipeline program at Yale's School of Medicine, named BioMed Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), to address this problem. We wished to leverage our resources of a faculty and graduate student body highly committed to increasing diversity at Yale, as well as the tremendous opportunities for training available in our laboratories and research hospital. Yale BioMed Amgen Scholars builds on our past years' experiences directing BioMed SURF.
Pre-Yale BioMed Amgen Scholars Program
We also have resources to support a small number of rising second year/sophomore students for participation in the program as Pre-Yale BioMed Amgen Scholars. Such students are expected to have completed one semester of a college level science course.