To increase diversity in one influential science community, a consortium of public and private institutions created the Woods Hole Partnership Education Program, or PEP, in 2008. Aimed at college juniors and seniors with some course work in marine and/or environmental sciences, PEP is a four-week course and a six-to-eight-week individual research project under the guidance of a research mentor. Forty-seven students have participated to date. Investigators from the science institutions serve as course faculty and research mentors.
We listened to experts regarding critical mass, mentoring, adequate support, network recruitment, and then built a program based on those features. Three years in we have a program that works and that has its own model for choosing applicants and for matching with mentors. We continue fine-tuning our match process, enhancing mentoring skills, preparing our students for a variety of lab cultures, and setting expectations high while remaining supportive. Collaboration, not competition, is key since a rising tide floats all boats.
Presented by Ambrose Jearld, Jr., George Liles, and Benjamin Gutierrez at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
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