As a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), UCI is well-positioned to support the development of coordinated programs to recruit and retain individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups into STEM disciplines. UCI has achieved major strides in inclusive excellence leadership recently, such as attaining the AAAS SEA Change Initiative’s bronze award, in addition to being federally  designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as well as a Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).

In particular, the School of Biological Sciences has had a rich history of supporting federally-funded programs to broaden participation in biomedical research. For example, the Bio Sci Minority Science Programs (MSP) has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 20 twenty years and includes flagship NIH-funded programs such as the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC U*STAR) program, the Bridges to Baccalaureate program, and the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program.

Graphic of 2 women standing in front of the UC Irvine building, McGaugh Hall, with fists pumped up in the air.

To enhance diversity in biomedicine, there is a considerable need for approaches to engage learners at an early stage (middle and high school) as well as families. These out-of-classroom educational activities complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

Support Bio Sci Investigators

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is interested in supporting Bio Sci investigators to submit new and creative proposals for federal funding to broaden participation in biomedical science research training as well as efforts to enhance public engagement and understanding of science with particular emphasis on the engagement of women and individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups. This includes, but is not limited to programs such as the:

graphic of researcher

Awards and Funding

To incentivize the development of such programs, we will provide a small research stipend ($5,000) to the PI(s) upon successful submission of a proposal and another matching stipend upon the program award. PI’s are strongly encouraged to discuss their program plans with the DEI office to ensure that the program fits within the intended purpose of this opportunity. For example, traditional research grants focusing on minority health or health inequities would not qualify for incentives under this mechanism, unless there is a strong diversity training or community participatory component. Further, administrative supplements to promote diversity, while highly desirable, do not qualify for this incentive mechanism unless the focus of the original grant is on promoting diversity in the biomedical workforce.

The Bio Sci Research Development Office, in collaboration with the Bio Sci Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will provide pre-award administrative and logistical support. The two offices will also provide guidance on how to maximize your competitiveness for these opportunities. Note that some programs will require internal competition. If you are interested in leading such an effort, please contact Associate Dean Yassa at michael.yassa@uci.edu to discuss further. Qualifying for this incentive is on a rolling basis.