University of Wisconsin Looks to Raise Number of Black Students in Chemistry Doctoral Programs

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has partnered with the American Chemical Society to train more students from underrepresented groups in chemical research. The goal is to increase the number of these students in chemistry doctoral programs.

The ACS Bridge Program will bring talented African Americans and students from other underrepresented groups to campus beginning this fall. These students will be provided with the opportunity to hone their research skills, take courses, present a poster at a national ACS meeting, and receive mentoring from chemistry department faculty. At the culmination of the program, participating students will graduate with a research master’s degree. After their first year of bridge requirements, the students will apply for admission into a doctoral program.

“The intent is for this to prepare them for national admittance into any Ph.D. granting institution,” said Robert Hammers, a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “If it suits their best interest and our best interest to go into our program, that is also an option.”

The program is funded by the department of chemistry, the College of Letters & Science, the Graduate School, the American Chemical Society, and the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES program, which will jointly contribute about $200,000 per year for the first three cohorts. Soon, the department’s steering committee will extend offers to four students to join the program.

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