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Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa: NIH joins Africa Movement Thinking initiative

We are experiencing an explosion of data relevant to human health, from both biological and non-health sources, that currently exceeds our ability to capture and interpret. This gap applies to every field of biomedical and behavioral research. If we don’t invest in the data itself, applying known and developing new Data Science (DS) approaches, we are wasting an incredible opportunity to improve Human Health. This set of initiatives addresses that gap for Global Health research and Public Health application in low resource settings.

In the next decade, rapid advances in DS, including new approaches to the description, collection, storage, integration, and analysis of large, heterogeneous, structured and unstructured data sets, and new computational methods such as advanced deep learning, digital phenotypes, machine/artificial intelligence, and 3D imaging are expected to transform biomedical and behavioral research and lead to improved health for individuals and populations. Traditional datasets (e.g. national health systems, surveillance, surveys) are becoming deeper and richer while new sources of data based on new technologies and sensors (e.g. social media, geospatial data, mobile phones, wearables, electronic medical records, bioimaging, and genomics) are emerging that may be of greatest value when linked to DS. Progress in development of huge new data sets and advanced methods for mining them underpin advances in diagnostics, technology development, and the potential for precision public health. This initiative examines whether advances in DS developed and/or applied in the African context can be used to spur discoveries and innovations that ultimately promote significant improvements in health for African individuals, communities, and populations. We define DS as “the interdisciplinary field of inquiry in which quantitative and analytical approaches, processes, and systems are developed and used to extract knowledge and insights from increasingly large and/or complex sets of data” (NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science).

While advances in the United States and other high-income countries (HICs) are being actively explored and increasingly supported in both the public and private sectors, applications that are relevant, affordable, acceptable, and scalable in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are largely undeveloped. Moreover, in most cases applications and tools cannot simply be adapted from HICs for use in LMICS as they are generated from data collections biased towards European ancestry populations and may not apply to other genetic backgrounds (this is true, for example, for GWAS studies, clinical imaging data used as a basis for machine learning, and major disease biomarkers). However, we can leverage the momentum and knowledge generated in this field in HICs to stimulate new investment, knowledge generation and innovations for LMIC populations.

What is InventXR is solving for?

While advances in the United States and other high-income countries (HICs) are being actively explored and increasingly supported in both the public and private sectors, applications that are: relevant, affordable, acceptable, and scalable in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are largely undeveloped. 

  • We focus this initiative in Africa for several reasons: 
    • First, despite recent progress, Africa carries a disproportionate share of the global burden of disease. DS has the potential to significantly impact both quantitative and qualitative research and health on the continent. 
    • Second, the African population is growing faster than other world regions and some African leaders are eager to transition to knowledge-based economies that InventXR infrastructure is well designed for. Extensive mobile phone coverage in Africa has led to major innovations in banking, agriculture, and other sectors and has the potential to “leopard frog” in health care delivery systems, bringing the clinic to the patient through Point of Care (POC) technologies and self-management systems, with applications to rural and underserved populations worldwide. 
    • Third, this initiative is synergistic with and leverages the substantial investments NIH has already made in research and research training in Africa.
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NSF INCLUDES Alliance: Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions: University of Texas at El Paso

Ann Gates

[email protected]

This HRD-1834620 is co-funded by NSF INCLUDES, which focuses on catalyzing the STEM enterprise to collaboratively work for inclusive change. This NSF INCLUDES Alliance is co-funded by the NSF Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program, which targets The CREST provides support to enhance the research capabilities of minority serving institutions and promotes the development of new knowledge and an expanded presence of students historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines. This NSF INCLUDES Alliance is co-funded by the NSF Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) program, which seeks to increase the retention and graduation rates of students pursuing associate or baccalaureate degrees in STEM. <br/> <br/><br/><br/>A nationally recognized alliance established in 2006, the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) serves as the lead partner and backbone of the CAHSI INCLUDES Alliance for broadening participation of Hispanics in computing. The Alliance aligns with the five characteristics of an INCLUDES Alliance Program for achieving impact and fostering collaboration: vision; partnerships; goals and metrics; leadership and communication; and the potential for expansion, sustainability, and scale. The vision of the Alliance is: By 2030, Hispanics will represent 20% or more of those who earn credentials in computing. Credentials are defined as degrees and certifications that lead to gainful employment and advancement in the field. Its mission is to grow and sustain a networked community committed to recruiting, retaining, and accelerating the progress of Hispanics in computing. The established Alliance partnerships (academia, industry, non-profits, and governmental entities), which share the Alliance's vision and commitment to transformative change, are located in the following regions: Southwest (Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico), West (California), Southeast (Florida and Puerto Rico), and North (Illinois, New Jersey, and New York). Other partnerships are with some of the most impactful Hispanic organizations in the country (Excelencia in Education, Great Minds in STEM, and SACNAS). It is these vested partnerships that have helped position CAHSI onto a national platform that recognizes the Alliance's record for increasing the number of Hispanics who are competitive in the computing workforce and academia. In order to grow as a national alliance, while at the same time maintaining quality services and staying laser-focused on a shared vision, the Alliance goals are to: expand its infrastructure; create 'on-the-ground' regional leads and connectors to keep members engaged; focus on reinforcing activities that address local, regional, and cultural needs; and foster a culture of results-based accountability. The data management and evaluation teams will collect and share three levels of evaluative data as metrics for progress and improvement: institutional and individual student data; alliance and regional data; and comparisons of alliance data to national data. A key component of leadership and communication is the relevant and meaningful interactions within regions, across regions, and nationally. To expand, sustain, and scale, the Alliance leadership will build partnerships at the national level to advance Alliance partners' reach, resources, and impact on Hispanic students and faculty. Building trust and shared vision through regional leadership, fostering collective impact, maintaining effective communication channels, and cultivating a culture of continuous improvement are essential for sustainability.<br/><br/>To accelerate change, CAHSI aims to support institutions committed to advancing Hispanic students in computing; provide on-ramps for other alliances, non-governmental organizations, and partners; and prepare the next generation of CAHSI leaders. By creating distributed on-the-ground support through geographically-distributed regional leadership, Alliance institutions will deeply engage with partners to learn what works well and what can be improved within their specific contexts. Led by a nationally renowned scholar, the CAHSI INCLUDES Alliance research investigation will contribute knowledge on what organizational conditions build capacity to transform development of culturally relevant and engaging educational strategies that support Hispanic students in computing. The investigation will provide valuable insight into institutional and pedagogical mechanisms to better serve Hispanic students in computing disciplines and in other STEM disciplines. Alliance efforts have the potential to scale organizational capacity-building efforts in a wider range of contexts.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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NSF Engineering Education and Centers: Stewarding a Community of Scholars, Leaders, and Innovators: American Society For Engineering Education

Rocio Chavela Guerra

[email protected]

This project will assemble grantees and other relevant stakeholders who are part of the National Science Foundation's Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) division ecosystem to foster collaboration and create communities. EEC generally has 350 active awards at any one time, with grantees – known as Principal Investigators, or PIs – spread across the country at different institutions. Because PIs often work "siloed" from other people involved with EEC-funded activities, there is limited ability to share best practices, collaborate, and learn from mistakes and successes of other PIs. This award supports three Grantee Conferences held for the Engineering Education, Broadening Participation in Engineering and Engineering Workforce Development clusters, two Centers and Networks Cluster Meetings, and three Thematic Meetings on (a) research opportunities for under-participating institutions, (b) the effects of socio-demographic trends on the national engineering workforce, and (c) participation of people with visible and invisible disabilities in engineering education.<br/><br/>In recent years, ASEE has convened special meetings focusing on topics such as increasing participation of ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities in engineering, and transitioning veterans into engineering careers, among others. These thematic meetings have engaged thought leaders and influential stakeholders, informing the broader community about opportunities to advance these areas to further the education of engineering professionals. Meetings such as the ones proposed here are organized specifically to share knowledge and create strong networks between and among PIs, with facilitated communication given face-to-face interaction and collaboration (e.g., 2012 CBET Grantee Conference; CMMI 2012 Grantee Conference, 2014 STEP Grantees Meeting, 2014 ERC Meeting, 2015 CPS PI Meeting). ASEE is uniquely positioned to support and connect the EEC community, leveraging its reach and influence to accelerate innovation, dissemination, and adoption of best practices in engineering research, instruction, and diversity and inclusion. Meetings such as those proposed gather interested parties to engage in purposeful networking opportunities to (a) foster knowledge-sharing; (b) cultivate personal and professional relationships, collaborations, and partnerships; (c) inform participants about state-of-the-art and ongoing efforts in the field, and (d) generate insights and knowledge that inform the broader community about current trends via reports, briefs, articles, and online resources. Digital copies of meeting summary reports will be shared with all meeting attendees, and will be made available on the meeting website and publicized via American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) channels (e.g., First Bell, Connections).

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LSAMP BD: University of South Florida Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP): University of South Florida

Jose Zayas-Castro

[email protected]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau by the year 2020 more than half of the nation's children will come from minority racial and ethnic groups. In response to these changing demographics, a recent report by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has addressed the need to increase the participation of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in science and engineering to help maintain this nation's global leadership in technology and innovation and advance national prosperity. The University of South Florida (USF) will serve as the 2019-2021 Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) institutional site for the NSF Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP). This FGLSAMP BD Project seeks to build upon both FGLSAMP's prior successes and USF's preeminence as a global research university by institutionalizing evidence-based practices in the academic and social integration, comprehensive scholar development, and professionalization in the sciences of graduate students from historically underrepresented groups. The 2019-2021 FGLSAMP BD Activity will facilitate increased intellectual exchange and promote greater diversity and inclusion across all USF STEM departments. The overarching aim of this cohort will be to ensure that 100 percent of FGLSAMP BD fellows complete their STEM PhD within five years after entering their doctoral programs. <br/><br/>Through "lesson learned" from seven prior BD site awards and partnerships with four USF Colleges, the Office of Graduate Studies, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Florida Education Fund's McKnight Doctoral Fellowship program, USF has been recognized as a national leader in minority STEM graduate education. Measurable objectives for the 2019-2021 USF FGLSAMP BD Activity will include: 1) recruiting twelve (12) LSAMP former participants as fellows by fall 2019 into STEM graduate programs (MS or PhD); 2) providing faculty-mentored research-training for all fellows throughout their two-year NSF fellowship tenure; 3) initiating professional development activities to facilitate competitive Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) applications from BD fellows and FGLSAMP undergraduate scholars within the Alliance; 4) supporting the 100 percent transition of USF FGLSAMP BD fellows into STEM PhD programs through interactions with supportive role model scientists and LSAMP undergraduate scholars; and 5) fostering greater inclusion within STEM graduate departments with new faculty and graduate student mentor training initiatives.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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CSMP Scholarship Program of Central Connecticut: Central Connecticut State University

Stan Kurkovsky

[email protected]

With funding from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, the CSMP Scholarship Program of Central Connecticut will provide support to low-income students with demonstrated financial need and academic promise. This support will help students succeed in selected STEM disciplines at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Manchester Community College (MCC), and Tunxis Community College (TCC). The project is funding 88 scholarships over five years for students pursuing bachelor's degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics (CSMP). This scholarship program supports students planning to continue their studies in a graduate program as well as to those planning to enter the workforce upon earning an undergraduate degree. This project implements co-curricular activities proven to improve student persistence and will study the effects on student success of these activities and other factors. The scholarship program will complement and enhance the newly created Transfer Articulation Program (TAP), enabling seamless transfer of students with two-year degrees from community colleges to four-year institutions in the state of Connecticut. The scholarship program will target prospective students recruited through public schools, two-year colleges, and community organizations, as well as promising students already enrolled in CSMP and related programs at CCSU. Faculty serving as mentors will proactively provide interventions for students who experience academic or social/emotional difficulties while in the program. This program builds upon the success of the previous two NSF S-STEM awards that established a well-functioning student support infrastructure and faculty and staff who have experience with these types of interventions. The current program structure incorporates and builds on lessons learned from the prior work. This project will support the study, implementation, and evaluation of co-curricular activities leading to improved academic success of low-income academically talented students.<br/><br/>This S-STEM Track 3 project seeks to improve educational opportunities for financially needy academically talented students and help them succeed in many STEM academic areas. CCSU, MCC, and TCC serve an ethnically-diverse population within the greater Hartford area of Connecticut. A student cohort will create a supportive environment for scholars, supporting their academic success, retention, and timely graduation. The importance of the project stems from the membership of CCSU, MCC and TCC in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, which makes the project potentially scalable to the other CCSU institutions across the state. The strategies used by the scholarship program focus on peer and faculty involvement, academic integration and development, goal commitment, social integration, academic performance, and institutional commitment. Students will benefit from previous interdisciplinary curricular enhancements supported by previous NSF funding. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research which has shown correlation with retention.

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The NSF INCLUDES Open Forum: A Platform for Collective Impact and Knowledge to Advance Broadening Participation in STEM: American Association For Advancement Science

Shirley Malcom

[email protected]

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is creating, implementing and evaluating a forum for the NSF INCLUDES broadening participation community of practice and for engaging the NSF INCLUDES awardees and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) researchers across the nation to expand the NSF INCLUDES broadening participation network. The NSF INCLUDES program is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in STEM discoveries and innovations focused on NSF's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields.<br/><br/>The NSF INCLUDES Open Forum will use the AAAS Trellis networking platform and the organization's experience engaging communities of practice focused on broadening participation, STEM education and STEM research. The project builds on the success of a prior NSF INCLUDES Conference award (HRD-1650509) that was addressing goals to define networking needs of the first round of NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots (DDLP); to develop design specifications for NSF INCLUDES networking, curating of resources, and supporting communities of practice; and to propose tools, techniques, capacities and functionalities for an NSF INCLUDES national network. <br/><br/>The NSF INCLUDES Open Forum project includes advisory board members with expertise in networking platforms and others with broadening participation knowledge and experience. A yearly conference for NSF INCLUDES awardees will offer participants an opportunity to learn about how Trellis platform upgrades, functionality and technology options (e.g., a smartphone application) can be used in new ways to engage a broader community of partners interested in broadening participation in STEM research and education contexts. An external evaluator will assess the activities and outcomes of the NSF INCLUDES Open Forum both during implementation and at project end. The PIs will also communicate the outcomes of the project to broader audiences, both academic and non-academic, and encourage a dialogue within the NSF INCLUDES community about the use of technology for organization and communication within a network.

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CAREER: Elucidating the Targets and Functions of Mammalian tRNA methyltransferase orthologs: University of Rochester

Dragony Fu

[email protected]

The goal of this research is to understand how ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules influence cell growth, development, and response to the environment. Current evidence shows that RNA function can be regulated by the presence of chemical groups (modifications) that are added to the RNA by specific enzymes. However, much remains to be learned about how the enzymes find their target RNAs, how the modifications change RNA functions, and how the modified RNAs regulate critical cellular processes. This research will address those questions, while providing a dynamic research environment to foster the scientific training and development of underrepresented groups in science such as minorities and women. To share new technical approaches developed during the research, students will produce video-based tutorials to serve as a teaching and training resource for the scientific community. The project will also provide educational workshops for underserved high school students to encourage curiosity and experimentation in the field of biology. <br/><br/>Mammalian genomes are predicted to encode a diverse number of transfer RNA methyltransferase (Trm) enzymes, but the cellular functions for the majority of Trm proteins remain unknown. The following project aims to elucidate the biological roles of the numerous uncharacterized mammalian Trm enzymes by: 1) establishing the protein interaction networks of human Trm enzymes, 2) identifying the cellular targets of Trm proteins, and 3) determining the cellular processes modulated by Trm proteins. The goals will be achieved through an integrated biochemical, molecular and genetic approach involving proteomic analysis of Trm complexes together with global transcription and translation profiling of human cells with altered Trm proteins. Through these discoveries, the work promises to lay a foundation of new understanding of how the RNA modifications catalyzed by diverse Trm enzymes translate into physiological outputs that help cells respond to various environmental conditions.

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Preparing Highly Qualified Physics Teachers: The College of New Jersey

Nathan Magee

[email protected]

This project, which will produce thirty new physics teachers over five years, is addressing a major problem facing high schools in the United States, a crisis of availability of well-qualified high school physics teachers. For every three national openings, only one qualified teacher is trained each year. More than 60% of high school physics classes are now taught by teachers who do not have appropriate training in physics content, and this problem is even more acute at high-need schools. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program in Physics at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is designed to increase the number of outstanding physics students who are being recruited and certified to become new secondary physics teachers. The TCNJ School of Education and School of Science is collaborating with public secondary schools within the established 18-district TCNJ Professional Development School Network (PDSN), with concentrated training occurring within five local high-need school districts. The project will provide outstanding training and support to new physics teachers, while increasing the number and diversity of physics teacher graduates. The number of new physics teachers directly supported by this project will be regionally significant, and includes a commitment to service in high-need schools. Furthermore, the project will establish a model that is feasible to reproduce at other institutions across the nation. <br/><br/>The TCNJ project is motivated by a dire shortage of highly qualified physics teachers in New Jersey and nationally, and by a severe lack of diversity and lack of access to physics teacher expertise in high-need schools. In response to these needs, the major goals of the project are to: a) attract, retain, and sustain a minimum of six physics-certified graduates per year through the period of support and beyond; b) substantially improve science education in the region, especially by increasing teacher diversity and availability of expert physics teachers to high-need local schools; and c) contribute new knowledge to physics education research through faculty research, enabled by novel programming linked to systematic assessment of student outcomes. Benefits include the preparation of highly qualified physics majors that will become the thirty new physics teachers. With respect to propagating the outcomes broadly, this project will: a) provide a compelling model for growth, especially for primarily undergraduate institutions, which is where most physics majors train; b) disseminate gained knowledge in physics teacher education research through publications and presentations; and c) substantially increase physics expertise, diversity, and resources to high-need schools. Statistics on physics teacher demand and average physics teacher preparation are very worrying. This shortage is still growing because many new state standards are requiring greater numbers of high school students to take physics. Only ~40% of HS physics teachers have a physics degree (lowest of any HS subject). This project is tackling this challenge head-on by starting to recruit in high schools and every step along the academic curriculum. There will not only be the immediate benefit of the thirty new physics teachers, but other institutions may learn from the model being established at TCNJ.

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Structural, Functional, and Evolutionary Analysis of Long Non-coding RNAs in Control of Stress Response and the Epigenome in Diverse Plant Species: University of Pennsylvania

Brian Gregory

[email protected]

PI: Brian D. Gregory (University of Pennsylvania)<br/><br/>Co-PIs: Eric Lyons and Mark Beilstein (University of Arizona)<br/> <br/>Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are an emerging class of molecules gaining attention for their roles in various biological processes. lncRNAs are defined by the fact that they do not code for proteins and are therefore not mRNAs. In addition, they do not fit into other well-defined small silencing RNA-producing categories such as small interfering RNAs (siRNA) and microRNAs (miRNAs). Despite the importance of lncRNAs in development, epigenetic modification, and stress responses, there is still much to be learned about their structure, protein interactions, and functions, especially in model and crop plant species. This project will address this significant gap using a combination of genomic, evolutionary, and bioinformatics approaches. It is anticipated that the data, web-accessible genome analytical tools, and data management systems developed by the project will provide novel insights into plant gene expression regulation by lncRNAs, and provide important new findings and resources for studies focused on the improvement of numerous crop and genetic model plants. With regard to outreach and training, this project will provide interdisciplinary research training in RNA biology, computational science and evolutionary biology for students and postdoctoral associates. In addition, the project will develop an interdisciplinary course entitled "Applied Concepts in RNA Biology" that will leverage large-scale computing and datasets to understand various aspects of the role of RNA in biological systems. This project-based course will teach the fundamentals of RNA biology, next-generation sequencing techniques, distributed and high performance computing, data-intensive science, and collaborative research techniques that will be used in student-driven research projects. The course will be taught simultaneously at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Arizona, with two-way audio/video conferencing and lecture topics alternatively taught at each site. All project outcomes will be made readily accessible to the broader research community through a project website (https://genomevolution.org/wiki/index.php/EPIC-CoGe_Tutorial), the iPlant Collaborative and long-term repositories such as GenBank and the Short Read Archive (SRA). <br/> <br/>This project is uniquely positioned to provide insights into the structure and function of lncRNAs, and their interaction with specific epigenomic regulatory modifications in the genome. The specific goals of the project are to define a subset of lncRNAs that are important for proper gene regulation in both normal development and stress response. Specifically, the project will focus on identifying and functionally characterizing those lncRNAs that are (1) nuclear, (2) highly structured, (3) stress responsive, (4) protein bound, and (5) evolutionary conserved in genetic models (Eutrema salsugineum and Arabidopsis thaliana) and in crop species (Camelina sativa, Brassica rapa, Zea mays, and Sorghum bicolor), focusing on their roles in stress adaptation. Finally, the project will expand EPIC-CoGe, a central repository for plant epigenomics data across all species, with advanced data integration, visualization, and analysis tools to allow for the integration of functional genomics data to provide new insight into genome-wide epigenomic interactions.

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Urban Massachusetts Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program: University of Massachusetts Boston

Winston Langley

[email protected]

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in their efforts to significantly increase the numbers of students matriculating into and successfully completing high quality degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in order to diversify the STEM workforce. Particular emphasis is placed on transforming undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, and relevant educational experiences in support of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. These strategies facilitate the production of well-prepared students highly-qualified and motivated to pursue graduate education or careers in STEM.<br/><br/>For the United States (U.S.) to remain globally competitive, it is vital that it taps into the talent of all its citizens and provides exceptional educational preparedness in STEM areas that underpin the knowledge-based economy. The Urban Massachusetts Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (UMLSAMP) program was established in 2007 in response to the need for a more diverse and skilled technical workforce. That need still exists and is particularly acute in the Eastern Region of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Participating institutions include three University of Massachusetts campuses (Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell); Wentworth Institute of Technology; and four community college partners (Bristol, Bunker Hill, Middlesex, and Roxbury). The UMLSAMP's goals are to increase the number of 1) Black, Hispanic, and Native American STEM students by 50%; 2) Baccalaureate STEM degrees awarded to Black, Hispanic, and Native American students by 150%; and 3) Students who successfully transfer from Alliance community colleges into BS STEM majors by 150%. These goals support the National Science Foundation's strategic goal to "cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce, and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens." The goals will be accomplished by strategies based on the previous 10 years of Alliance experience to include but are not limited to: Facilitated Study Groups, Supplemental Instruction, Research Skills Development Workshops, Mentored Research Experiences for Undergraduates in STEM, and Community Service Projects.<br/><br/>The knowledge generating research study will employ a multi-layered, mixed-methods design with the supposition that understanding the specific programmatic aspects that contribute to LSAMP's success, institutionalizing these at Alliance institutions, and replicating them across the higher education sector can make a significant contribution to diversifying the nation's STEM-skilled workforce in all fields. Lessons learned and programmatic outcomes will be disseminated through online communication channels, participation in national and international student success and STEM related conferences and workshops, and peer-reviewed publications. Progress towards project goals will be carefully tracked internally in accordance with the UMLSAMP Logical Model and through the engagement of an external evaluator.

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