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In 2005, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program awarded a grant to the APS for the “Professional Skills for Minority Students in Biomedicine” project (5T36GM073062-03). The overall goal of this project was to promote the development of key professional skills among minority graduate and postdoctoral students in biomedicine by creating effective live and online short courses. Specifically, the project developed and disseminated two proven live and web short courses that focus on two critical skills areas: writing and reviewing for journals and making oral and poster presentations. Each course included a strong focus on the interaction of racial/ethnic background and culture with the development of these skills. Minority students who completed the course(s): 
  • Improved their performance in specific professional skills areas;
  • Increased their understanding of how these skills can impact career opportunities and advancement in biomedicine;
  • Increased their understanding of how diversity issues, especially cultural influences and background experiences, can interact with the development of professional skills targeted by the course; and
  • Increased their knowledge of resources and materials that can further assist in their development of these key professional skills.
    Advisors and mentors also benefited from these tools since they addressed important cultural issues and provided resources and strategies for integrating cultural aspects with professional skills training. Products from the project included:
  • print materials to allow easy replication of the live course,
  • online interactive web courses that could be accessed by individuals or groups or as part of a regularly offered web course, led by experienced biomedical researchers and mentors.
An Advisory Board guided the project activities and an evaluation component documented progress on the project activities, dissemination of the courses, and impacts on participants. Additional information on the project is included in the Resources below.

Advisory Board

List of people who served on the Advisory Board for the project.

Project Overview.pdf

Overview of entire Professional Skills Training Project from the grant application.


The Goals and Objectives Section from the grant proposal that was funded by NIH.

Project Background.pdf

Background information on the Professional Skills Project.

Cultural Issues.pdf

Cultural issues on which the Professsional Skills courses will seek to include training.

Performance Evaluation Plan.pdf

The evalulation plan included in the grant proposal by which the success of the live and online courses will be measured.

Collaborating Partners

The other organizations that helped during the development and testing of the Professional Skills Training Project.