Vascular Biology-Short Term Training Program for Minority Students

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with Meharry Medical College offers undergraduate students an NIH funded training program in vascular biology. The Short Term Training Program for Minority Students offers a laboratory experience designed to teach contemporary research techniques and enhance essential laboratory skills. Combining research activities with coursework, students gain a better grasp of research concepts and improve their critical thinking with regards to the literature and their own studies. 

Training facilities include the well-equipped research laboratories of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Department of Microbiology of Meharry Medical College. The program is designed to teach contemporary research techniques and enhance essential laboratory skills. The large number of scientists participating in this program affords students the opportunity of placement in a laboratory related to their interests. The laboratory experience will provide detailed coverage of those fundamental basics which are underpinning of a successful performance in any research laboratory.

Formal teaching sessions are designed to cover material which is highly integrative and coupled to recent research findings and areas of activity. Combining research activities with coursework, students will gain a better grasp of research concepts and improve their critical thinking with regards to the literature and their own studies. During this program students will also participate in Workshops on Ethics in Research and Opportunities (Careers) in Research. At the end of the training program the students present their research to the other students and faculty in the style of national scientific meeting.

The Short Term Training Program for Minority Students will enable these partnering institutions to expand efforts to identify and recruit underrepresented minorities for graduate programs leading to careers in research.  Multidisciplinary research training of future minority research scientists in this area is expected to be critical to discovering the new information that will lead to improved diagnosis, prevention and therapy for cardiovascular disease.


Eligibility & Application

Please note this program is only allowed to support trainees from one of the following categories:

Citizenship: U.S. Citizen, U.S. Noncitizen National, Permanent Resident of U.S.

Racial background: African-American, Black, Hispanic (or Latino), American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Disadvantaged Background: Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as: 1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at

For individuals from low-income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates (a) have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance; or (b) have received any of the following student loans: Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program; or (c) have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need. 2. Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

Recruitment and retention plans related to a disadvantaged background (C1 and C2) are most applicable to high school and perhaps undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of achievement. Under extraordinary circumstances the PHS may, at its discretion, consider an individual beyond the undergraduate level to be from a disadvantaged background. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on appropriate documentation.

Questions & Answers

There are ten positions available in this program. We will notify you by e-mail or mail after the review of applications which is usually finished in early March.

This program is supported by an R25 NIH training grant which pays a salary based on a forty hour work week. Salary amount is dictated by the NIH and changes periodically. When the program director receives this information prior to the beginning of the program, you will be notified of the specific amount. There is an allowance of $550 to help with the cost of long distance travel to and from the program. There is a campus housing allowance of $1000 for the period of the program.

The Office of Conferences is in control of housing assignments. Housing is on the Vanderbilt Campus in one of the dorms.

You may live off campus. However there is no housing allowance for off campus housing. We are not able to assist in locating off campus housing.

When you arrive you will fill out a travel form. You will need to submit original receipts or in the event of an internet transaction a receipt showing that you paid by credit card and the last four digits of your card number.

The program is designed to introduce you to the research process technology and methodology and to expose you to the broad area of vascular biology research. You will be assigned to a research lab based on available labs from the list of participating faculty. Please see the introduction for a more complete description of the program.

Vanderbilt University and Dr. Hoover want you to have the experience of working full time in a research laboratory. There is a weekly seminar given by one of the preceptors in whose labs the trainees will be working. This gives everyone in the program the opportunity to see what research is being conducted in the labs of their fellow participants. There are other programs (e.g. GRE prep class) offered through the Summer Science Academy in which you may participate. You will be required to present your research at the end of the program through a short oral presentation and submit a short paper. It is hoped that you will come away from the program more prepared for future research endeavors.

We will ask you to list your interests and you may request a particular laboratory. We will do our best to match the interests of the student with the labs that are available for the summer. Not all of the preceptors will be able to take on the responsibility of a summer trainee every year.