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R25 grant funds fellowship program for underrepresented students

Multiple universities participating in program that emphasizes research

A recently awarded National Institutes of Health grant supporting an undergraduate research fellowship program at Pauley Heart Center will create opportunities for students from underrepresented groups (individuals with disabilities, minorities and those from a disadvantaged background).


The five-year, $500,000 R25 not only provides 12 students per year with a paid research fellowship but also gives Pauley the chance to partner with five regional universities in Virginia. “We are excited to not only create more research opportunities for undergraduate students but to also build meaningful relationships with other universities in our area to have maximum impact,” said Pauley program manager Megan O’Hare Blackwell.


The undergraduate research fellowship program is designed to provide exposure for students who are interested in specific careers in research. It creates meaningful opportunities for them to engage in multidisciplinary, translational cardiovascular research with the goal of enhancing the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce. During the program, students will engage in a 10-week cardiovascular-focused research project with a Pauley Heart Center mentor.


Additionally, the students will participate in a weekly course led by Pauley director Greg Hundley, M.D.; specialized facility tours; clinical care and research training; and programs about ethical conduct of research and preparation of first-author peer-reviewed abstract and manuscript submissions. The students will learn from faculty mentors in disciplines including data science, biology, health sciences, chemistry, sociology, engineering, kinesiology and psychology.


To learn about becoming a faculty mentor, or for more information, email

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