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Diversity Initiatives

The Division of Biological Sciences actively participates in and supports the following diversity initiatives.

THRIVE Program

THRIVE, or “Transforming Natural Sciences at Mizzou: Retain, Belong, Lead, and THRIVE”, is a 5-year program aimed at fostering a more inclusive environment in the natural sciences. The project, which is funded by a $1M grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as part of its Inclusive Excellence Initiative, supports the development of faculty learning communities, reflective data, video interventions, and a resource library for inclusive teaching and mentoring, among other resources. It also will enhance the retention of undergraduate students by developing peer mentoring networks, leadership development and extracurricular programming designed to stress the importance of inclusion, diversity and equity.

NSF/Biological Sciences Scholars Program

This program involves a partnership with select St. Louis high schools to provide scholarships to academically talented, financially needy students to enroll in and complete a BA or BS in biological sciences at MU. Students are identified in their junior year and provided academic and advising support to prepare them to enroll in biological sciences at MU upon completion of their senior year. Once at MU the Scholars are provided scholarship support to meet their full financial need, academically challenging coursework, personal interactions with faculty, special mentoring, and undergraduate research opportunities early in their career. Scholars are also provided special career discovery activities to prepare them to successfully pursue advanced study leading to careers and leadership positions in creative research in the integrated life sciences.

Exposure to Research for Science Students (EXPRESS) Program

The IMSD EXPRESS Program (Exposure to Research for Science Students) is a specially designed program for freshmen and sophomores at MU who are from groups that are “underrepresented” in the sciences, including students who identify themselves as African American, Hispanic, Native American/Alaskan Native or Pacific Islander.

The MU McNair Scholars Program

Named for astronaut and Challenger crew member Ronald E. McNair, the McNair Scholars Program provides enriching experiences that prepare eligible students for doctoral study. Scholars receive a stipend to conduct research in the area in which they want to pursue graduate study as well as attend professional conferences, receive guidance on the graduate school application process, and more.

Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) Scholars

MU’s PREP Scholars Program provides post-baccalaureate training to eligible underserved, underrepresented and other disadvantaged students with a passion for science. The goal of the program is to prepare scholars for PhD study leading to research careers in the biomedical sciences, including areas that address health disparities in minority populations. Scholars receive one or two years of salary, educational fees paid, and travel expenses to scientific conferences.