Auburn, Ala. (EETV) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Auburn University $1.5 million to be used as financial aid for underrepresented students in the biomedical field.

This Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement, also known as the G-RISE grant, was administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a component of the NIH. It is designed to focus on students from underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical field, such as first-generation, low-income, African American, Latinx, and American Indian. This effort was made to diversify the biomedical student population in an area with an expansive history of racial inequity.

Auburn's grant proposal team includes Dr. Bruce Smith, an Auburn veterinarian; Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, vice president and associate provost; Auburn University's Office of Inclusion and Diversity; Dr. Melody Russell, a professor of science education.

“Our goal is to provide an environment in which highly talented Ph.D. students will be able to excel,” said Dr. Smith. “The excellent faculty, high level of research and Auburn’s commitment to this program were all recognized as strengths. This award reflects the ongoing efforts of an outstanding team, and faculty from all over Auburn University have stepped forward to offer to be mentors for the outstanding students who will join this program.”

As well as offsetting the cost of stipends, tuition, and fees related to training and health insurance for students, the program will also provide additional benefits such as professional development in diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty mentors. The broader impacts will prepare traditionally underrepresented graduate students for careers as biomedical scientists and diversify the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, workforce. NIH G-RISE scholars will collaborate with researchers and conduct their own research in the biomedical sciences.

The training activities that will be supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health are under Award Number T32GM141739. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Interested students can find more information about applying for the G-RISE at Auburn program by reviewing this information sheet.