EL PASO - The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has secured a $22.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its largest ever from the health agency.
The grant will build a consortium, called BUILDing SCHOLARS, to recruit high school seniors from the region interested in science and engineering.
Those accepted will receive full-ride scholarships to attend UTEP. They will attend a pre-college boot camp and participate in research at partner universities like the University of Texas at Austin or Baylor College of Medicine.
“Our program will train students who will eventually become research scholars,” said Lourdes Echegoyen, UTEP’s director of Undergraduate Research Initiatives. “Beginning the summer before their freshman year, students will start developing a professional identity and begin to think of themselves as research scientists and engineers.”
UTEP is leading the consortium, which includes 19 organizations, mostly universities. Its aim is to “diversify the workforce by training the next generation of underserved and underrepresented biomedical and socio-behavioral scientists and engineers.”
NIH is investing about $31 million in fiscal year 2014 in institutions across the United States to develop new approaches to engage researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences.
Ten grants were given across the U.S. for institutions to carry out the BUILD initiatives.