The U-RISE Program at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is designed to transition academically promising
undergraduates spread across the breadth of STEM disciplines into doctoral programs in biomedical sciences.
We recognize that millennial scientists will be expected to keep pace with increasing demands to use quantitative
and computational approaches in order to detect patterns from large datasets to answer biological questions.
Therefore, through a thoughtfully designed training program with a committed group of academic leaders and
faculty mentors, we propose to engage a cohort of promising scholars in a truly interdisciplinary curriculum that
builds on a foundation provided by CAU (through the U-RISE Prep Program). Our overall objective for the U-
RISE Program at CAU is to have a significant and measurable impact on student retention and completion rates
within our STEM majors so that these specially trained scholars then progress logically into doctoral studies.
Given that CAU holds three major distinctions: 1) the largest United Negro College Fund (UNCF) institution; 2)
a Carnegie R2 research classification—a doctoral university with high research activity; and 3) the fourth largest
generator of African American PhDs, we are well-positioned to substantively contribute to our nation’s agenda
of growing its research and innovation capacity through the preparation of competitive scientists who continue
to be traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical field. Our planned objectives span fostering a talented pool
of undergraduate students who are capable of thriving in high-caliber, research-intensive institutions both as
students and members of the academy while undertaking a training plan that includes curricular enhancements,
specialized programming, and research immersion that begins early and orchestrated with direct support and
consultation from carefully matched faculty mentors. By investing in an inclusive, training environment for a
cohort of promising young scientists, we intend to create a program that is designed to offer a framework, that is
constructed with a technical-operational-professional strategy, grounded in the values of responsible conduct for
the pursuit of research, and enriched with a tailored and meaningful curriculum and professional development
modules to become competitive in the pursuit of graduate studies. With plans for ongoing evaluations and
dissemination, we intend to share our knowledge and outcomes with others who have been challenged with
retention and program advancement, particularly at other historically black colleges and universities where many
of America’s next generation of great biomedical researchers can be discovered.