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Logo of Build Poder - Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research


Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research (PODER) is an undergraduate research training program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In a supportive community, sophomores, juniors, and seniors take classes and work directly with professors on research projects that relate to health – from the molecular to the planetary! From public health to philosophical frameworks for pain, we seek to generate a vibrant, socially responsible and open environment for asking new research questions and using new methods to reduce health disparities. In the long-term, our goal is to increase representation of those whose health has been traditionally been poorer to become researchers themselves, biomedical researchers who make social change by studying the health influence, say, of local landfills or neighborhoods with more liquor stores than grocery stores. If you are considering a career in biomedical research, broadly defined, and your GPA is above 3.0, we want YOU!


Students who are BUILD PODER trainees (sophomores) and scholars (juniors and seniors) take a summer Jumpstart Program in August. In addition, students participate in a) research methods and statistics curriculum to increase students’ competencies as a researcher, b) a mentoring relationship with a culturally responsive mentor for a year-long intensive research experience, c) experiences leading to the presentation of research at national conferences, d) professional development, which includes personalized career and academic advisement, and graduate school preparation and e) exposure to a broad range of researchers who conduct culturally-focused biomedical research through workshops and speaker series.

Students who are BUILD PODER trainees and scholars receive a stipend, tuition, funding for some books, funding to travel to a conference, and a small research supply stipend. Most importantly, they are part of a community, with a specific mentor, who is dedicated to helping you to become a biomedical researcher!


BUILD PODER Mentors receive training in culturally competent mentoring and may be chosen by a student to work on the faculty member’s research. In addition, BUILD PODER Mentors can apply for Pilot Project grants for $50,000, reassigned time to rewrite courses to be in line with BUILD PODER’s goals, or they can join an NIH Faculty Scholar Academy to learn how to and/or receive reassigned time to write an NIH grant proposal.


Eileen Ie, Ed.D
Faculty Liaison, BUILD PODER
Associate Professor, Sociology