A new student-focused initiative is underway at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women in neuroscience research. The Neuroscience Experience and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (NEUROP) seeks to expand the exposure of women and undergraduate underrepresented minority students to neuroscience research and enhance the exposure of graduate underrepresented students to cutting-edge research and professional skills training, with the goal of fostering the next generation of minority scientists.
Ultimately, a goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in faculty positions, according to A.J. Baucum, an associate professor in the School of Science’s biology department and its neuroscience program. “We know that not everyone wants to go that route. But we want to catch those who have never heard of neuroscience and have them give it a try.”
The new program includes a summer bridge program and a first-year science seminar that introduces students to neuroscience. The program also provides paid research opportunities, making it possible for students to conduct research in lieu of a paid job off-campus.
NEUROP is funded in part by a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.