MERCED, California (KSEE) – U.C. Merced has received a multi-million-dollar grant to help recruit a diverse group of Ph.D. students interested in the biomedical trade.

A five-year $2.2 million training grant was given to UC Merced to help select a diverse group of graduate students to keep the university’s biomedical trade on the cutting edge.

Ajay Gopinathan is a professor at UC Merced. Gopinathan said this grant could be a game-changer for them to stay competitive with other universities.

“So, one of the important goals of the grant is to in fact diversity the workforce, the stem workforce that goes into biomedical research,” said Gopinathan.

Gopinathan said UC Merced is fortunate to be a very diverse campus. However, in their line of work things can get better – which is something this grant can help improve. 

“Practices of getting a very diverse group of cohorts into the program at the very beginning and then doing our training in a holistic way that includes elements of diversity, inclusion, and justice,” said Gopinathan.

Graduate students play a pivotal role in keeping UC Merced’s research innovative and this grant could help recruit Ph.D. students to study biomedical research at the university.

Fellow UC Merced Professor Victor Munoz says this grant could help recruit quality students who have the goals of staying and working in the Central Valley. 

“From my point of view, I am very excited to use this as a recruiting tool. Because I think it will be a powerful tool for us and we get lots of different students applying into our programs,” said Munoz. 

According to Munoz, the grant was awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Munoz said they plan on selecting six graduate students for this upcoming fall semester.