Students walk across Cal State Long Beach.
Student workers across the 23-campus California State University system have submitted an official petition to form a union.

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California State University, Long Beach announced today that its Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program has received a $4.45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the next five years of operations.

RISE will use the funding to create a pipeline of CSULB students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical sciences who will go on to enter Ph.D. programs in related fields and become biomedical researchers, according to the announcement.

“More and more institutions are recognizing the high caliber of CSULB’s research activities, and Ph.D.- awarding institutions are increasingly seeking our students for entry into their programs,” said Paul Buonora in a statement, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CSULB who is spearheading the project.

According to Buonora, this facet of the RISE program will expose underrepresented students to the knowledge of career opportunities presented to research scientists as well as the skills necessary to enter into and be successful in a Ph.D. program in the biological sciences.

Other goals of the program include preparing students who are fully immersed in the research culture and ethical practice of biomedical research professionals and increasing the number of underrepresented students who apply and enter doctoral programs in biomedical fields, according to the announcement.

In order to accomplish these goals, RISE will provide its students research opportunities to work with a skilled faculty research mentor from CSULB. Students will also participate in training activities that enhance scientific knowledge and research skills and have access to financial and education resources. Students will also have the chance to travel and present their own work at a national level.

The program will be comprised of two pathways, one for undergraduates and one for students pursuing an M.S.

“Diversity in biomedical research is critical to providing the different perspectives that are needed to solve the current and future health-related problems our society faces,” said Buonora in a statement. “The diversity of CSULB’s student population and the cutting-edge research that so many of our faculty are engaging in make this university an ideal place for this type of project to find success.”

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].