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Initiative for Maximizing Student Development: IMSD Program

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an IBP member program

Academic Level:
Graduate Students (PhD)

The IMSD program at MUSC has been ongoing for over 16 years and is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the NIH. The goal of the program is to increase the diversity of the biomedical workforce by providing fully funded support to PhD students who are underrepresented in science. It is commonplace for students who are in PhD programs to be dispersed across campus with little opportunity to mingle with students in different departments. Therefore, the IMSD program seeks to form a sense of community among UR PhD students. IMSD scholars and program faculty meet in monthly lunch sessions in which the students participate in a variety of activities. One of these activities is practice talks, giving students an opportunity to present their work as well as to critique presentations. Some meetings are devoted to career development sessions, including sessions on career pathways, developing confidence, and navigating graduate school. Outside speakers are often brought in to discuss elements of professional development.

In addition to the monthly meetings, IMSD program faculty serve as extra coaches and advisers to students outside of their dissertation committees and meet with the students regularly from the first year on. New students are also paired with more senior IMSD students to provide peer mentoring relationships that serve as additional support mechanisms.

As well as social and program support, IMSD scholars are provided with travel opportunities to attend scientific conferences, leadership opportunities, and opportunities to mentor more junior students. To be accepted to the IMSD program a student should apply to the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences at MUSC. Upon acceptance the student will be invited to apply to the IMSD program. To date the IMSD program has supported 53 students who have an approximately 80% success rate in obtaining their PhDs. Recent graduates have obtained postdoctoral positions at prestigious institutions, become faculty in science departments, and have pursued a variety of other careers in government and the private sector.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts or sponsors)
Medical University of South Carolina (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Cellular Biology
Genetics & Genomics
Medical Sciences
Molecular Biology
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Big Data Science
Cardiovascular & Respiratory Physiology
Gene Expression Studies
Infectious Disease
Molecular Biology

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This program is funded by:
National Institute of Health (NIH)

Page last updated 2/21/2024
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