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U-RISE Program

The goal of the DSU Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) program is to develop a diverse pool of undergraduate students –the trainees- who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.).  

Supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health—National Institute of General Medical Sciences Institutional Development Award [NIH- T34GM136477] DSU U-RISE program will implement an educational and research training program that will support successful graduation of the trainees and ensure that they are accepted to biomedically-related graduate programs, are motivated to attend, and are prepared for success. The trainees will participate in two summer research internships, first on the DSU campus, and the second at a research intensive institution.

To support the trainees, DSU U-RISE has designed a series of activities, courses, and workshops that will provide knowledge and skills development to support academic success at DSU and in graduate school. The trainees will be supported by strong, culturally-competent mentors, who have completed an on-line mentoring course and participate in interventions shown to minimize implicit bias.

The long term goal for the DSU U-RISE project is to increase the number of DSU students earning baccalaureate and Ph.D. degrees in fields related to biomedical research. Since the large majority of DSU students are members of underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines, and come from low income families, the success in this goal will contribute to the diversification of our nation’s scientific workforce.

TRAINEE Recruitment & Selection

New applicants are expected to apply as sophomores (rising juniors) who meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Full-time student at DSU, with enough credits to reach upper division standing by the following fall (30 or more credits accumulated)
  • At least two summers remaining before planned graduation date
  • Underrepresented minority (as defined in NIH Notice NOT-OD-18-129)
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • Demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing a graduate degree (Ph.D.) in biomedical or behavioral science
  • Both STEM and overall GPA of 3.2 or better
  • Commitment to complete the program and related activities


The DSU U-RISE program has four specific objectives:

  • To increase the four year and five year graduation rates for STEM students at DSU from ~25% and 35%, respectively, to 35% and 50% ;
  • To increase the percent of STEM students at DSU who maintain a GPA above 3.0 from 34% to 45%. This will increase the number of students who are competitive for acceptance to graduate schools and to enter the scientific or technical workforce;
  • To have at least 90% of our DSU-STAR trainees graduate with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field;
  • To have at least 60% of our DSU-STAR trainees matriculate into biomedical PhD programs, and to have at least 80% of those matriculants complete the degree.