Minority Opportunities in Biomedical Research Programs

Program Description

The NIGMS RISE (National Institute of General Medical Sciences - Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) program is a structured biomedical research-training program for the underrepresented minorities and women who desire to pursue a career in biomedical research. The RISE Programs, funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS), were initiated in 1972.

The goal of the NIGMS RISE program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in biomedical and behavioral research who enter into and successfully complete Ph.D. programs in these fields. The students, by working alongside advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as active research faculty and interacting in the larger scientific establishment, gain a better understanding of the biomedical career path. In addition, NIGMS RISE fellows develop a competitive advantage to win admission to top graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. degree as well as postdoctoral positions in disciplines important in biomedical research. Specifically, the RISE program aims to enhance FIU’s research training output in biomedical and behavioral sciences by (a) increasing the number of students that complete baccalaureate (B.S./B.A.) degrees and enroll in Ph.D. programs, (b) increasing the number of students that complete master (M.S.) degrees and enroll in Ph.D. programs, and (c) increasing the number of pre-doctoral students that complete the Ph.D. degree.

Furthermore, NIGMS RISE program undergraduates at the B.S./B.A. level and M.S. degree participants are expected to directly matriculate into Ph.D. programs, and Ph.D. participants are expected to complete their terminal degrees in biomedical and/or behavioral research fields and advance to competitive postdoctoral positions. Thus the RISE program contributes to reducing the national gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Program Benefits

The FIU NIGMS RISE program provides funds for developmental activities that are designed to accomplish our objective. Our overall goal is to increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students in pursuit of research careers and improve laboratory experiences for students. We are geared towards creating a sense of community among our biomedical researchers that will carry from the classroom to the research laboratory.

Specifically, the program provides graduate and undergraduate students pay for a yearlong work obligation in a laboratory conducting biomedical research. In addition, funds are available for the NIGMS RISE fellows to attend at least one scientific meetings/conference a year to network and present their research. Other training includes participation in professional development workshops, recruitment/information sessions, volunteer and outreach opportunities and involvement in the annual MARC U*STAR & NIGMS RISE Mini-Symposium.


  • NIGMS RISE undergraduate fellows get paid to do research in a lab under the guidance of a faculty member for 15 - 20 hrs during the Fall/Spring semester and up to 30 hrs during the winter holiday, spring break and summer ($12/hr), funding to attend scientific conferences, professional development workshops, leadership experience, etc.
  • NIGMS RISE graduate (MS or PhD) fellows receive a $25,000 graduate contract that pays bi-weekly, receive a full tuition-waiver (9 credits in fall & spring and 6 credits in the summer / we do not pay for fees), health insurance, if needed, funding to attend scientific conferences, professional development workshops, leadership experience, etc.