Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)
To support Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students by providing 2 years of fellowship support and professional development skills at the outset of Ph. D. training.
These assets reduce psychological stress and isolation at a majority institution by increasing peer connections and support.
To engage participating students in rigorous oral presentation and grant writing workshops to improve communication skills.
Improved oral and written skills facilitate success in competitive graduate student fellowship applications, and progress through Ph.D. qualifying exams, and later professional success.
To provide continuous counseling within the IMSD program and periodic subsequent progress reviews.
This process ensures that more than 90 percent graduate with a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree in their intended discipline.
Student Development Activities
Research with a disease-oriented basic or translational research scientist mentor is the focus. IMSD predoctoral students conduct research under the supervision of a skilled investigator/mentor and research group.
- Training in the responsible conduct of research
All Mayo Graduate School students are required to pass the Mayo Graduate School course 'Responsible conduct of Research.' The course meets weekly for 11 sessions during the summer quarter and is attended by the IMSD program manager and directed by an IMSD mentor/member of the IMSDA internal advisory committee. Sessions include a lecture and case study discussion.
Lectures focus on key principles that govern the conduct of research, relevant literature, and discussion to strengthen professional standards.
Meetings are scheduled for 45 weeks per year (68 contact hours) on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Meetings are the primary forum for student development, including the opportunity to receive peer criticism in a non-threatening environment.
- Participation in seminars, journal clubs, meetings
All IMSD students attend departmental seminars, actively participate in journal clubs, and present research findings in laboratory meetings.
- Attendance at national research meetings
Travel funds support IMSD student attendance at one national student research conference or national research meeting. This experience offers additional professional development for diverse predoctoral students during the years when Ph.D. students typically do not have access to travel funds.