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New Grant Extends IMSD Across All Sciences

March 16, 2017

With a new $3.3 million federal grant, Brown University will the extend the Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) to its physical sciences, engineering and mathematics departments. The program has significantly increased the diversity of doctoral students in the life sciences and supported enhanced academic achievement among the students it serves.  The new five-year award from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences, along with new funding from the Office of the Provost at Brown, will more than double the scope of IMSD. The program will now support up to 20 doctoral students a year in 21 programs instead of just eight students in the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Public Health, said Andrew G. Campbell, who has co-directed IMSD since its inception a decade ago and became dean of the Graduate School last year.

Campbell said that recently it has become clear that IMSD should expand its portfolio to serve all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at Brown because physicists, chemists, engineers and mathematicians are increasingly making key contributions in biomedical research.

“The scale of Brown’s operation is such that a lot of our programs are collaborative,” Campbell said. “It allows us to be very interdisciplinary. It’s the next most logical step in the maturation of the program.”

Expanding IMSD to cover all STEM fields at Brown is among the specific goals set forth in Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University. Last week the University issued a report of overall progress in the plan’s first year.

Read more of David Orenstein's story about the extended Initiative to Maximize Student Development program.