UVI Receives Grant of Over $2 Million to Help Students Pursue Science Careers

University of the Virgin Islands

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of the Virgin Islands $2.25 million from to support preparing students for careers in biomedical research.

The five-year grant is part of the Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-R ISE) program. The program is designed to produce a diverse group of rigorously trained, motivated students who will compete for highly selective doctoral programs and go on to careers in biomedical research.

The U-RISE program at UVI provides a number of benefits to undergraduate scholarship recipients as well as support for curriculum development.

U-RISE scholarship recipients receive partial tuition, travel support and monthly stipends for research training. U-RISE funding also helps to develop and provide a rigorous curriculum in the responsible conduct of research across a variety of disciplines at UVI, including biology, chemistry, computer science, marine biology, mathematics, nursing, physics, psychology and social science.

Students who receive U-RISE scholarships can spend several weeks in the summer conducting research at partner institutions, including Yale University, Boston University, University of Iowa, Michigan State University, Old Dominion University, University of Michigan and the University of Colorado, among others.

“UVI ‘s history of excellence in biomedical research training, along with the hard work of our grant writing team, has helped us to receive this large award,” said biology professor Alice Stanford, Ph.D., who is also the project director.

“Thanks to this type of research training, many of our alumni now have satisfying careers that contribute to the advancement of medical science. We are very excited to be able to offer these opportunities to our students,” said Stanford.

Zorah Williams, a rising UVI junior majoring in biology, was recently awarded a U-RISE scholarship. She said, “I like the U-RISE support because it allows amazing flexibility in student schedules while helping them pursue career goals. This program allows us the opportunity to explore our career interests and has further research opportunities, such as attending the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists, which allows students to make networking connections to further our goals.”

The U-RISE project at UVI is supported by UVI’s Emerging Caribbean Scientist Program, which coordinates external grant funding — including from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, the College of Science and Mathematics, the program supports training students for careers in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Prof. Stanford leads the team of UVI faculty supporting the project, including Verleen McSween, Ph.D., Lavida Rogers, Ph.D., and Robert Stolz, Ph.D.

For information, contact UVI’s Public Relations Office at pr@uvi.edu.


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