Bridges to the Future
The Bridges to the Future (Bridges) Program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and is aimed at recruiting underrepresented minority students to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences. Because this program is aimed at undergraduates, "biomedical sciences" is defined very broadly and includes: biology, psychology, nutrition, food science, engineering, family studies and human services, animal sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, veterinary science, applied social sciences, social work or some other area of science. Students are primarily recruited from three community colleges (Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, Seward County Community College) in southwest Kansas.
Students begin their studies at these community colleges and transfer to Kansas State University to complete their Bachelor of Science degree. Students in this program participate in a one week research experience course at K-State in late May of each year. This class addresses how scientists work on problems and use research equipment, how to use a library, science ethics, and student life on a large research campus. In the summer after their 2nd year of community college studies, Bridges students work with a K-State professor on a research project for an 8 week summer period and are paid a stipend hourly rate. Students in this program are eligible for Bridges tuition scholarships at both their community college and at K-State. Once at K-State, the students often participate in the Developing Scholars Program, another diversity/retention program.
The Bridges Program addresses the diversity and education requirements of broader impacts and has a well established recruitment network. Bridges can be tied into your proposal by including funding in your budget to sponsor one or more Bridges students for the summer program as well as by you and/or other members of your research team agreeing to be mentors. Other ties can be: 1) providing tuition for these students and/ or 2) providing funds as well as mentoring/oversight for a group of students at one of the community colleges to carry out a research project that will be an ancillary part of your overall research project. Denis Medeiros, Associate Dean for Research and Head of the Department of Nutrition is the contact for this program. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.