Aspiring junior investigators from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences face various challenges as they pursue research independence. However, the biomedical research enterprise needs their participation to effectively address critical research issues such as health disparities and health inequities. In this article, we share a research education and mentoring initiative that seeks to address this challenge: Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health Related Research (PRIDE), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This longitudinal research-education and mentoring program occurs through summer institute programs located at US-based academic institutions. Recruited participants are exposed to didactic and lab-based research-skill enhancement experiences, with year-round mentoring over the course of two years. Mentor-mentee matching is based on shared research interests to promote congruence and to enhance skill acquisition. Program descriptions and sample narratives of participants' perceptions of PRIDE's impact on their career progress are showcased. Additionally, we highlight the overall program design and structure of four of seven funded summer institutes that focus on cardiovascular disease, related conditions, and health disparities. Mentees' testimonials about the value of the PRIDE mentoring approach in facilitating career development are also noted. Meeting the clinical and research needs of an increasingly diverse US population is an issue of national concern. The PRIDE initiative, which focuses on increasing research preparedness and professional development of groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce, with an emphasis on mentoring as the critical approach, provides a robust model that is impacting the careers of future investigators.
- Biomedical Research