This fall, the University launched a new education and research program that aims to build bridges in the world of higher education. The Training Research Educators in Minnesota program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is designed to both prepare postdoctoral researchers for their role as educators and train participants in the program for jobs in the fast-growing biomedical field with an eye to increasing the diversity of the workforce.
“This program will not only train future faculty, but develop a diverse group of highly trained scientists to address the nation and state's biomedical research needs,” says Carrie Wilmot, associate dean for graduate education and program lead. “To accomplish this, the postdoctoral scholars will teach and develop materials in partnership with three local community colleges that each have a diverse student body.”
Wilmot will oversee postdoctoral researchers during their three-year tenure in the program as they pursue their own research projects and develop their teaching skills. In this process, they will work at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College and North Hennepin Community College directly with students and educators. As they hone their teaching skills, the goal is to get these postdoctoral researchers to also help encourage students to think about future collegiate and work options.
“What we want to happen is to remove the ‘scary’ perception of four-year colleges within the two-year community colleges, and get the students to believe that they really do have what it takes to get a four-year degree and beyond,” says Carrie Wilmot.