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The Cornell University Initiative to Maximize Student Development (Cornell-IMSD) program, funded by the NIGMS/NIH, aims to enhance the success of graduate students in the biological and biomedical graduate fields at Cornell who come from underrepresented backgrounds. The program works with incoming graduate students to provide training and guidance needed for success. The Cornell IMSD program has also developed a unique relationship with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, to increase the successful transition of deaf/hard of hearing (D/HH) students to life science graduate programs at Cornell.

Representing seven departments and five colleges, the program supports incoming doctoral students during their first two years of study in graduate fields. Eligible students are nominated by the graduate fields for support by our program. Selected students will receive a stipend, tuition, and health insurance for the first two years of their doctoral studies from our grant. The remainder of their studies will be funded through a combination of research and teaching assistantships.

Working with their Directors of Graduate Studies and the Cornell IMSD program, IMSD Scholars will develop an individualized development plan (IDP) to identify what they need to succeed in graduate school at Cornell and how Cornell can facilitate their success. They also participate in summer research prior to matriculation at Cornell, along with short summer modules and intensive training programs to sharpen creativity, leadership development, as well as writing, oral presentation, and social integration skills. Our IMSD Scholars also receive mentorship, opportunities for additional research experience, and access to the suite of professional and personal development programs sponsored by the Graduate School’s Pathways to Success initiative.

To find out more about the program, please contact the Program Director at Cornell-IMSD@cornell.edu.

To apply for entry into one of the graduate programs that participate in the Cornell IMSD, please follow the links to the left. Participating graduate fields include biomedical engineering, biochemistry, cell & molecular biology, biophysics, genetics, genomics & development, microbiology, neurobiology and behavior, nutrition, and the fields of comparative biomedical sciences, immunology & infectious disease, pharmacology and molecular & integrative physiology.