Performance measures of racially underrepresented Ph.D. students in biomedical sciences: The UAMS IMSD Program Outcomes

PLoS One. 2021 Feb 8;16(2):e0246683. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246683. eCollection 2021.


The purpose of this study was to identify performance measures of racially underrepresented minority (RUM) Ph.D. trainees who needed additional training initiatives to assist with completing the UAMS biomedical science degree. A sample of 37 trainees in the 10-year NIH-NIGMS funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) were examined. Descriptive statistics and correlations examined process measures (GRE scores, GPAs, etc.) and outcome measures (time-to-degree, publications, post-doctoral fellowship, etc.) While differences were found, there were no statistically significant differences between how these two groups (Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately White Institutions (PWIs)) of students performed over time as Ph.D. students. Graduates who scored lower on the verbal section of the GRE also had a higher final graduate school grade point average in graduates who received their undergraduate training from HBCUs. Of the graduates who received their undergraduate training from PWIs, graduates who scored lower on the quantitative section of the GRE had higher numbers of publications. These findings stimulate the need to 1) reduce reliance on the use of the GRE in admission committee decisions, 2) identify psychometrically valid indicators that tailored to assess outcome variables that are relevant to the careers of biomedical scientists, and 3) ensure the effective use of the tools in making admission decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Success*
  • Adult
  • Arkansas
  • Biomedical Research / education
  • Education, Graduate / methods
  • Education, Graduate / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • School Admission Criteria / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Universities
  • Young Adult