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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Memphis
  • Helen J Sable
  • (901) 678-4343
  • Deranda B Lester
Award Date:05/10/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 285,908
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 285,908
  • FY 2021=$285,908
Start Date:05/15/2021
End Date:04/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:REU Site: Memphis Neuroscience Techniques and Research Training Program (NeuroSTART)
Federal Award ID Number:2051105
DUNS ID:055688857
Parent DUNS ID:878135631
Program Officer:
  • Josie S. Welkom
  • (703) 292-7376

Awardee Location

Street:Administration 315
Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Memphis
Street:400 Innovation Dr, Psych Rm 202
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

This project is funded from the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites program in the SBE Directorate and is supported by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program. It has both scientific and societal benefits in addition to integrating research and education. To maximize scientific progress, it is important to welcome contributions from a diverse group of individuals. However, there is substantial national disparity in the number of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority (URM) students admitted to graduate neuroscience programs. There is excellent diversity within the undergraduate (UG) population among the institutions of higher education in Memphis, TN. This grant is to support the Neuroscience Techniques and Research Training (NeuroSTART) Program at the University of Memphis designed to increase the number of URM UG students from the greater Memphis area actively involved in behavioral neuroscience (BN) research. By taking advantage of the excellent diversity among UGs at Christian Brothers University, LeMoyne-Owen College, and at the University of Memphis, as well as the large proportion of URM students from local community colleges that transfer to these institutions, the goal of this project is to increase the number of competitive URM applicants successfully applying to graduate neuroscience programs. The NeuroSTART program focuses not only on professional development, networking, and promoting scientific literacy and technical skills training among the participants, it also nurtures affective factors (self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and a supportive scientific network) shown to influence the retention and success of URM UG students transitioning into scientific graduate programs. Increasing the number of competitive UG URM applicants to graduate programs will subsequently increase URM graduate trainees and ultimately increase the diversity of individuals that are part of the neuroscience workforce. NeuroSTART participants that are part of this REU are fully integrated into the University of Memphis psychology department behavioral neuroscience research laboratories where they interact with other faculty, graduate students, technicians, and UG research assistants. While receiving a stipend, they engage in two semesters of independent study during which they complete an empirical research project (under the mentorship of a behavioral neuroscience faculty member) and then present the results of their work in a mock defense, at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference, and as a manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed neuroscience journal. The NeuroSTART participants also join other neuroscience researchers in a series of monthly seminars to promote career development and training in responsible conduct in research and attend a retreat in the fall intended to prepare them for the process of applying to graduate school. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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