DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Norfolk State University (NSU) was established in 1935 and has a proud legacy of offering a comprehensive education to minority students. The University consistently ranks among the top producers of African-American Baccalaureates and is recognized for high quality academic programs. The School of Science and Technology (SST) is one of five schools at NSU and comprises 26% of the University's total student enrollment. The central mission of SST is to create an environment that continually strengthens undergraduate education and research. NSU requests funding to enhance faculty opportunities to conduct biomedical research and to effectively guide and train students. The long-term objective of this five-year effort will be to create a learning community such that business, academic, and community scholars can interface seamlessly. The development of an Office of Research Development and Planning (ORPD) will be critical for the implementation of this project. Under the leadership of the Extramural Associate, the ORPD will work on program activities that: 1) enhance faculty opportunities to solicit external funding that enhances biomedical research opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities; 2) increase knowledge of NIH and related agencies' research and training opportunities; 3) demystify the pre-award process and streamline submission procedures; and 4) enhance application development skills. The NSU nominee for the EARD Award is Dr. Camellia Moses Okpodu. Dr. Okpodu is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology. She has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service. She currently has funded projects with NASA (Glenn, OH) and the National Science Foundation, both with an emphasis on increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities engaged in research. This research application will help to build infrastructure that will enable NSU faculty, staff, and students to apply for grants related to public health issues. If awarded, this will contribute to creating an emphasis in biomedical and health-related research areas.