Delaware State University’s efforts to produce high quality research from among its undergraduate students received a great shot in the arm recently as the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded the institution a five-year $2.5 million grant to support its Minority Access to Research Careers Program (MARC).
With the funding, DSU will create and implement a strong educational and research training program to guide traditionally underrepresented groups into STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and into graduate training at the Ph.D. level.
“We are proud that DSU has secured this funding from the NSF because MARC is a major program for our students,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. “We look forward to building a strong and sustainable program that will prepare the next generation of STEM researchers.”
In awarding the grant, the NSF validated the proposal for the program developed by Dr. Melikechi, who is also the program director, and his faculty team – Dr. Fatma Helmy, professor of biology and MARC Program coordinator; Dr. Venugopal Kalavacharla, assistant professor of agriculture and natural resources; Dr. Chandran Sabanayagam, assistant professor of physics; and Dr. Cherese Winstead, assistant professor of chemistry.
MARC students must maintain a 3.25 grade point average or above and therefore are representative of the top STEM students at DSU. The program provides students with top notch research skills and exposes them to cutting-edge knowledge in those science areas, according Dr. Melikechi.