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From the MORE Director: Reaching Out to the MORE Community
Reaching Out to the MORE Community
By Clifton Poodry, Ph.D., NIGMS

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job as MORE director is the opportunity to interact with grantees—to meet with you and learn about your programs and to hear your opinions and ideas. I especially appreciate the heart-felt expressions of support for the overall mission of MORE and the determination to make a significant difference.

During this past summer and early part of the fall, the staff from MORE held a series of six outreach visits with directors of MARC and MBRS programs around the country. We brainstormed ways to achieve our goals. We listened to your concerns and we thought about ways to better our programs.

One specific goal of this year's outreach visits was to hear a broad community response to proposed changes to the MBRS SCORE program. For the first time, MORE staff solicited input from the subproject principal investigators, and they were not shy with their comments. As is to be expected, we got a range of input, some positive and some negative. Some participants offered suggestions for alternative approaches. We had expected many of the comments but some we did not anticipate, which means the outreach served its purpose.

A second objective of the outreach visits was to discuss the design of student development programs so they focus on their mission while being sensitive to the laws regarding non-discrimination. In particular, we emphasized that MORE programs are not designed to exclude any particular ethnic group from participating—they are designed to include individuals who have been historically excluded from careers in biomedical research.

I want to thank all of the program directors who participated in these meetings. Your insight is invaluable to us as we plan future directions for MORE. If you were unable to attend one of our meetings, please let us know and we will be happy to send you copies of the meeting presentations, as well as to receive your specific input on the outreach visit discussion topics.

As always, I welcome your feedback and comments.

 

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