New recruitment strategy brings best and brightest to ECU Health Sciences

In 2008, the Vice Chairs of Diversity Initiatives (VCDI) initiated a new strategy designed to recruit the best students to Brody, while preparing them to compete for positions in graduate and clinical programs. This offering, called the Summer Biomedical Research Program (SBRP), helps students hone research skills in Brody or Vidant laboratories.

For eight weeks in the summer, enrolled students address critical research questions using cutting-edge techniques. At the conclusion, students present their findings during a poster session. Brody faculty also provides career development activities including mock graduate/medical school interviews, a 1-day biostatistical analysis course and one-on-one career counseling.

Recruiting top-notch students to graduate education with the Brody School of Medicine is about more than meeting graduate school enrollment numbers. For us, it’s also about preparing the next generation of scientists and physicians to meet North Carolina’s unique health care needs, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

Now in our fourth year, we are pleased to report positive progress:
• Fifty-three percent of the SBRP students continued to conduct laboratory research after the program ended.
• Fifty-five percent of the students who completed their Bachelor of Science degree pursued graduate education in health sciences fields, including medicine, biology, physical therapy, pharmacy and pharmacology.
• Sixty-two percent of the SBRP students who received Bachelor of Science degrees in 2012 applied to or were accepted to graduate/medical programs at ECU or the Brody School of Medicine.

The SBRP accepts students from all backgrounds and universities with a focus on providing opportunities for student groups typically underrepresented in the sciences.

Positions in the SBRP have been funded by many sources including the Brody School of Medicine, Johnson C. Smith University, the Brody Women Faculty Committee, the Center for Health Disparities Research, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and the membership of the VCDI. In addition, Brody faculty, students and staff have contributed greatly to the program through their support of various fundraising events.

What a great start for such an important program!

Rukiyah Van Dross, Ph.D.
Vice Chairs of Diversity Initiatives, Chairperson
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology