The Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates (RaMP) in Biological Sciences program invites the submission of proposals to establish networks to support full-time research, mentoring, and training for recent college graduates who have had few or no research or training opportunities during college in research fields typically supported by the Directorate of Biological Sciences (BIO). Fostering the growth of a globally competitive and diverse research workforce and advancing the innovative scientific skills of the U.S. is a strategic objective of the National Science Foundation (NSF). To that end, proposals submitted to this program are expected to create strong evidence-based and inclusive mentorship programs that will advance the goal of creating a competitive and highly representative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in the U.S. Transitions into the STEM workforce could include pathways into research-focused M.S. or Ph.D. programs, industry, federal or state agencies, education and research centers, and other STEM careers.
Individuals from groups underrepresented in STEM, first generation college students, and students at under-resourced institutions frequently have limited opportunities to participate in the undergraduate research experiences that are necessary to be competitive for graduate programs or other STEM career pathways. This situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, further slowing efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. This program will provide postbaccalaureate research experiences for cohorts of trainees, either in ongoing research programs, existing networks, or in new research projects designed specifically for the RaMP networks.
Studies of capacity building and training across diverse disciplines have emphasized the importance of inclusive training via cohort mentoring and networks of individuals working together towards a common purpose. Cohorts promote the development of long-term relationships, and networks foster the exchange of ideas and resources to pursue common goals and to address shared challenges. Proposals will use a network structure that generates a supportive and strong collaborative mentoring environment centered around a cohesive biological research theme. The network will facilitate the recruitment and selection of postbaccalaureate research participants (hereafter, mentees) and mentors, and will provide professional development and additional mentoring and training opportunities to all network members, including mentees, mentors, co-mentors, and other STEM professionals. Networks are expected to involve and facilitate communication and training among mentors and mentees from different organizations, institutions, and/or departments. Proposals submitted under this solicitation should focus on research-based inquiry projects that include analytical and technical training and professional development opportunities.
RaMP Working Group