A SOBERING REALITY
As the world searches for ways to address the COVID pandemic — from a vaccine or treatment to rapid testing and genetic predispositions — we see the urgent need for innovation in medical research. Physician-scientists lead the way in this work, and evidence demonstrates that diversity in the workplace correlates with improved innovation. However, graduates of M.D.-Ph.D. programs are actually less diverse than the population as a whole. JCI Insight recently reported that only 10% of M.D.-Ph.D. program graduates are Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), a quarter of their representation in the general population.
We can only increase student diversity if more BIPOC apply to these programs, yet only 15% of applicants to the UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) are BIPOC, and just 5% are Black. That is why we must provide robust opportunities for students at UCLA to become involved in research and receive the one-on-one mentorship essential for successfully applying to M.D.-Ph.D. programs.
The new UCLA M.D.-Ph.D. Summer Research Fellowship Program, launching in summer of 2021, will provide access and support to UCLA undergraduate students to conduct research in some of the most competitive research laboratories at UCLA. After completion of the summer program, participating students will continue to receive mentorship and guidance by our faculty as they apply for M.D.-Ph.D. programs. In our inaugural year, we aim to open two or three fellowships to qualified candidates demonstrating resilience, ingenuity, creative thinking, and leadership potential. Each summer, students will complete an eight-week research program with individualized mentorship and a stipend for living expenses.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Support from the MSTP community is vital to the success of this fellowship. A gift of any amount helps make this incredible opportunity a reality for our underrepresented students and has a meaningful impact on the future of medical scientist training.
Your generosity will go a long way in growing this fellowship and diversifying the pipeline of future leaders in biomedical research. Please join us in demonstrating how the MSTP Community can come together and make a difference.
A PERSONAL COMMITMENT
The first gift to this program comes from a current MSTP student, Richard Morgan. This area is near and dear to his heart after his own experiences entering the M.D.-Ph.D. track. Click on the video to hear from Richard.
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