lubin mcmahonLaunched in 2014 by Dr. Farah Lubin and Dr. Lori McMahon, the Roadmap Scholars Program seeks to fix the leaky pipeline for diverse neuroscientists. The idea was based on their observations that students from diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds and students with disabilities deal with disparities that create roadblocks on their path to successful careers in neuroscience. 

Very few would disagree with the fact that scientific competitiveness largely depends on having a diverse population. The benefits of diversity in the sciences include enhanced innovation and increased engagement and growth in scientific knowledge. Scientists are often operating in an international or multi-faceted national context, and to service the scientific community well, they need to attract and retain people from the full range of demographic segments. Having a diverse scientific community brings a range of useful perspectives to the table and there is a significant competitive advantage if scientists are able to optimize these differences in their colleagues. Many talented trainees from diverse backgrounds will be locked out of highly competitive neuroscience research laboratories and programs due to lack of preparedness. This deficit in diversity leads to a lack of competiveness and innovation in neuroscience research that comes with increased diversity.

Our program meets this need with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Neuroscience Roadmap Scholars Program. The overall objective of this program is to provide the necessary tools that will enhance engagement and retention of underrepresented graduate trainees in the neuroscience workforce. This will be accomplished through providing a highly supportive and specialized day-to-day educational and training environment. Interested and qualified graduate trainees are eligible for enrollment upon acceptance to the UAB Graduate School with emphasis on Neuroscience research. 

This program is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NINDS R25 NS089463).