Research and Design Experience for Undergraduates with SCI
The Research and Design Experience for Undergraduates with SCI (Program) at the Veterans Research Foundation of Pittsburgh (VRFP) will provide opportunities and mentors in Rehabilitation Engineering (RE) that will serve as a catalyst for future growth and success in STEM programs of study and careers for individuals with SCI. The primary objective of the program is to provide students with SCI an exemplary mentoring and resourceful environment that highlights opportunities in STEM.
Individuals with SCI have been an historically underrepresented population in STEM fields of study and careers. In many instances, individuals with SCI are lacking credible opportunities to participate, along with a dearth of role models, when it comes to STEM fields of study. Our program will increase the likelihood of individuals with SCI continuing to graduate school and – ultimately – becoming SCI researchers, mentors, clinicians, or professors. Rather than being relegated to notetaking/observer roles in STEM labs without being given the opportunity to fully participate, our program will introduce - and fully immerse - students with SCI to the opportunities available to them and allow for interaction with faculty and graduate mentors who themselves are individuals with SCI.
There are several expected outcomes associated with the program: Participants will gain greater knowledge of the research and development process, participants will report increased interest in contributing to research in the future, participants will report increased interest in attending graduate school, and the majority of participants will recommend the program to other people with SCI. (CHN: COandI chn:wdg)