The purpose of this document is to guide the NIH Bridges to the Future Program in its planning, policies, and management. Individual grantees may find the report useful; however, each grantee should determine its own mission, goals, and objectives based on its own needs and institutional plans.
The Bridges to the Future Program was established in 1992 to facilitate specific transitions in the career paths of underrepresented minority scientists. Since then, the National Institutes of Health and the community of Bridges grantees have gained considerable experience with respect to realistic expectations, program management, and strategies for improving outcomes. This seemed to be a very appropriate time to consider the direction of the Bridges to the Future Program. With the encouragement of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) convened a working group on September 27, 1999 to develop a plan and set of priorities for the Bridges to the Future Program based on the original vision and the accumulated experiences of the Bridges community. The plan includes a mission statement, goals, objectives, and evaluation criteria to measure program success.
The mission of the Bridges to the Future Program is to make available to the biomedical science research enterprise and to the Nation the intellectual talents of an increasing number of underrepresented minority group members. It does so by facilitating the transition of students from associate to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions and from master's to doctoral degree-granting institutions. The program promotes effective inter-institutional partnerships that lead to improvement in the quality and quantity of underrepresented minority students being trained as the next generation of scientists.
The working group identified a number of goals to be achieved by 2005. The following objectives and measures provide ways for NIGMS to evaluate the progress of the Bridges to the Future Program in achieving these goals over the course of the next 5 years. With experience, NIGMS expects to identify both the best measures of success and the best ways to collect data to document progress.
Through its E-STAR reporting system, NIGMS has collected data on outcomes of Bridges to the Future students since the inception of the program. As of September 1999, the Institute staff knows the following:
Success can be measured against these data. Following each of the program goals below are specific measurable objectives and measures of progress. The likely source of information for each measure is given in parentheses.
The Bridges to the Future Program is one piece of a larger mosaic of programs at the National Institutes of Health that are designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority scientists engaged in research and to improve the health of minority communities. Bridges to the Future is becoming increasingly important in addressing the problem of underrepresentation of minorities in the sciences. The success of Bridges to the Future depends on the program's ability to set ambitious but reasonable goals and to measure its progress toward achieving these goals. Ultimately, the program will succeed when, as a result of its interventions, students who would have received terminal associate or master's degrees see new opportunities for careers as scientists and their ambitions are supported by the highest possible quality of education and training.
Linda Lacey, Ph.D., ChairpersonAssociate DeanUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill200 Bynum Hall, CB 4010Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4010919-962-6311
Eduardo Bolanos, Ph.D.StudentUniversity of California, Los Angeles1501 Delta StreetRosemead, CA 91770626-307-8705
Joe Cameron, Ph.D.Department of BiologyJackson State University1400 J.R. Lynch Street, Box 18630Jackson, MS 39217601-973-3470
William Galey, Ph.D.ProfessorUniversity of New Mexico School of Medicine915 Camino de SaludAlbuquerque, NM 87131505-272-1117
Yolanda GeorgeDeputy DirectorAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science1200 New York Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20005202-326-6670
Carlos Gutierrez, Ph.D.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryCalifornia State University, Los Angeles5151 State University DriveLos Angeles, CA 90032323-343-2356
Cindy Holland, Ph.D.Cuyahoga Community College11000 Pleasant Valley RoadParma, OH 44130216-987-5144
Marigold Linton, Ph.D.Director, American Indian OutreachUniversity of Kansas250 Strong HallLawrence, KS 66045-1501785-864-4904
Michael Mimnaugh, Ph.D.Department of Chemistry and PhysicsChicago State University9501 S. King DriveChicago, IL 60628773-995-2180
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