Cal State Northridge was awarded a five-year, $19 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to support a training program designed to increase diversity in the biomedical field, the university announced Wednesday.

The award brings the federal agency’s total support of the training program to more than $40 million, spread over 10 years. The money is earmarked for the BUILD PODER program, Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity, Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research.

“Thanks to programs like BUILD PODER, CSUN students have the opportunity to participate in research and hands-on learning throughout their educational journey,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said. “The continued support from the National Institutes of Health enables even more students to experience this high-impact initiative, contributing to student success and the betterment of society through the diversification of our biomedical workforce.”

NIH awarded the initial $22 million grant in 2014. The training program was developed with the goal of expanding diversity by providing student training for biomedical research careers, along with faculty mentoring.

Since then, 239 students have taken part in the program. Of those, 40 percent have already earned bachelor’s degrees. Among those who earned degrees, 58 percent are in post-baccalaureate, masters or doctoral programs, 11 percent are working as researchers or technicians and 20 percent and applying to graduate programs, according to CSUN.

University officials said some of the new grant money will be used to bolster faculty and student research, in part by providing funding for implementation of pilot projects, skill-building workshops and refinement of preparing grant applications.

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