Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Grant Program

IMSD group picture 2018

About the Grant Program

The IMSD grant program is designed to increase the participation of under-represented groups in the biomedical sciences.

IMSD scholars receive the following benefits from the grant program:

  1. Payment of tuition, fees, and health insurance by the grant for a period of at least 12 months (after that your financial support will come from one or more other sources).
  2. Financial support for travel to colleges or universities for the purpose of presenting your research.
  3. Ability to obtain essential career development tools to assist you with the transition to the next career step after the PhD by attending professional development workshops.
  4. Gaining knowledge about issues pertaining to diversity and how to enhance diversity in the scientific community.

To apply for a position on this grant, you must be a Ph.D. student of any race or ethnicity (U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident) who has shown a strong commitment to enhancing diversity or who is a member of a group that is under-represented in biomedical and biobehavioral research. These include:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be under-represented in doctoral level health-related sciences on a national basis
  • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or from disadvantaged backgrounds

The components of the program include:

  1. Monthly professional development meetings
  2. Travel to conferences and alumni institutions to present your work
  3. Serving as a Graduate Student Advisor to a summer undergraduate research participant and a new PhD graduate student once you have completed the first year of the PhD program
  4. Working with an IMSD Mentoring Committee member to ensure progress through graduate school and preparation for post-doctoral career plans
  5. Participating in the Diversity in Science course (required for all new Ph.D. students)
  6. Social Activities

Request more information about the grant program

For more information contact:

Sue Hennigan, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, IMSD/PREP

IMSD Student Spotlight

Serena-Kaye Kinley-Cooper

Serena Kaye Kinley CooperSerena-Kaye Kinley-Cooper is a graduate student at the Medical University of South Carolina and a graduate from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Serena-Kaye’s doctoral research with Dr. DeAnna Adkins focuses on filling the gap in the current understanding of how brain stimulation can enhance recovery from stroke. This has involved conducting studies that investigate how and when brain stimulation interacts with brain injury and how we can use this understanding to optimize stimulation to enhance functional recovery. Her current research interests focus on answering long-standing questions involving the activated pathways after brain stimulation that produces the improvements seen with concurrent stimulation and rehabilitation. She recently received a F99 award.

Brandon Young

Brandon Young

Brandon Young, a current Ph.D. student, has been an executive board member of The S.C. Public Engagement and Advocacy in Charleston program (SC-PEACH) since the fall of 2018. SC-PEACH focuses on the education of minority elementary school children. MUSC volunteers work specifically with 4th graders at Mitchell Math and Science Elementary School. They aim to instill an interest in science in them by participating in laboratory modules and science fairs. For Brandon, the most exciting thing has been planning the laboratory modules and watching the students develop an interest in science over the year. Brandon is also a student adviser on the steering committee for PREP, a post baccalaureate research program for minority students applying to PhD programs. He recently earned a travel award to the UAB-SERCAT Structural Biology Symposium where he presented his research.

You can read his 1st author publication Fall 2018:

Young, B.F., Roth, B.M. & Davies, C. Biomol NMR Assign (2018).