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About Us

Mission and Core Objectives

The University of Maryland FIRST program is a partnership between the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland Baltimore County. Our overarching goal is to create a comprehensive model dedicated to ensuring a diverse, scholarly environment and encouraging outstanding individuals to enter the academic profession through a commitment to inclusive excellence. Initial work towards this goal will focus on hiring a cohort of ten promising early-stage investigators in the areas of neuroscience, cancer biology, and microbiology/immunology/infectious disease who are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially those who come from groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research.

Dedicated faculty development and cohort building programs modeled after the successful Meyerhoff Scholars Program, as well as focused retention, progression, and promotion will ensure the success of these hires as tenure-track faculty. We will evaluate the policies and models that are used during the FIRST program to determine our successes and failures. We will seek to implement successful policies and practices across our institutions to achieve our goal of fostering sustainable institutional change that codifies the importance of a diverse faculty. Further, faculty hired under UM FIRST will serve as exemplars and leaders for institutional change, as well as role models for future generations of underrepresented trainees.

UM FIRST Diversity Mission Statement

The UM FIRST at the UMSOM and UMBC seeks to build and leverage a diverse and inclusive workforce and workplace by promoting a culture of belonging among our UM FIRST cohorts at our universities and within our participating academic programs, departments, and university-wide. This will include, but not be limited to, diversity training workshops on both campuses; and a focus on inclusion and diversity initiatives that prioritizes inclusivity and mental health.