Donate to the Research and Career Development Awards
STEM education is widely regarded as being crucial for inspiring students to learn, create, and solve complex problems. Worldwide, 74% of adults believe the world needs more people pursuing STEM related careers to benefit society’s future.1
Progress is being made to increase participation in STEM educational programs, especially for students of diverse backgrounds. Unfortunately, these efforts do not adequately translate into STEM careers for female and minority candidates. There is a need for a clear pathway to ensure qualified candidates can seamlessly move from educational programs to career opportunities in STEM related fields, especially in healthcare and biomedical research.
The scope of this issue can be seen in secondary education where 40% of Black and 37% of Hispanic students transfer out of STEM college majors.2 Equally concerning, nearly half of workers who receive STEM college training are working in non-STEM fields.3 STEM careers are especially lacking among female and minority workers. Today, Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans represent 32% of the US population, yet:
- STEM workforce is mostly white, with Blacks and Hispanics representing just 16%3
- Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans represent less than 10% of doctorate degrees4
Having diverse role models and mentors in STEM fields affirms and reinforces the importance of “If you can see it, you can be it.” This is especially true for first generation college students.5 The benefits of STEM education beginning in primary school must ultimately be met by careers in science to fulfill the potential of these important programs.
“If STEM programs in K-12 and secondary education represent the pipeline of academic talent, then postdoctoral and faculty programs must be the pump – drawing talented researchers into organizations where they can thrive and produce innovative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems.”
Ajay Israni, MD, MS
President, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute
A Pathway for STEM in Science Careers
While public and private research grants are often limited for early career researchers, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute’s (HHRI) Research and Career Development Awards actively support young underrepresented investigators.
A recent study by LSU Health Services Center details white researchers are nearly twice as likely to receive federal grants as Black scientists.6 Mentoring minority postdoctoral and faculty researchers is the foundation of our program. It provides vital diversity and inclusion within scientific research and presents clear role models and obtainable career paths for students in STEM programs.
HHRI’s Research and Career Development Awards are designed to support the training of postdoctoral and junior faculty researchers in their field of study under the direction and mentorship of HHRI senior faculty. The long-range goal is to help researchers make the transition to independence as Principal Investigators on their own projects. HHRI is uniquely capable of implementing this program:
- 77% of mentees successfully achieve independence in their research field
- Consistently ranks in the top 10% nationally of all institutions receiving research grants from the
National Institutes of Health
- Supports the work of over 200 researchers and staff, overseeing medical research at HCMC, an acute
care teaching hospital
Two one-year fellowships will be awarded to conduct biomedical research in one of four key areas: Infectious Diseases, Acute Care, Addiction, and Health Services (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Heart Disease, and others).
Preference will be given to underrepresented individuals who have had no more than two years of prior full-time experience either in clinical or basic research. Recipients will be expected to pursue a full-time project in clinical research during their year of training.
$185,000 (a three-to-five year commitment is desired)
Salary support for two one-year fellowships
Laboratory facilities, conference allowance, grant and administrative support
| 1. 3M State of Science Index Survey, Pandemic Pulse Survey, 2020 | 2. Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Barbara King, Yasmiyn Irizarry, Educational Researcher, Vol. 48 No. 3, 2019 | 3. Nikki Graff, Richard Fry, Cart Funk, Pew Research Center, 2018 | 4. National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation, 2019 | 5. Dina Verdín, Allison Godwin, School of Engineering Education, Purdue University, 2015 | 6. Nicholas Gilpin, LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, Michael Taffe, University of California San Diego, 2021 |