Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) to the Postdoctorate Program

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) to the Post Doc
New Mexico State University
New Mexico
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus


Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) to the Postdoctorate Program works to diversify the health scientist research community by furthering the Ph.D. degree completion of students who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical and biobehavioral fields. Increasing the number of underrepresented minorities Ph.D. recipients in STEM disciplines ensures the broadest possible talent and perspectives can contribute to the task of finding treatments for diseases and disorders that affect human health, such as those associated with health disparities between populations.

Program Description

RISE Masters in Science and Ph.D. students are prepared for the next career step through mentored research experiences, professional development, workshops, technical skills, off-site research training internship, formal education in responsible conduct in research, and guided expansion of their social research network. Student self-efficacy and career independence are promoted through individualized development plans, professional portfolios, and submission of applications for fellowships and other independent support. Clear communication of program expectations for mentors and students, structured benchmarks, and regular progress review with feedback keeps students on track to degree completion. Assessment and evaluation of program practices and outcomes ensure continual refinement of programmatic elements.


Over 18 years, RISE has supported 59 STEM Ph.D. students, 36 of them identifying as Latino and 54 identifying as underrepresented minority students.

As of December 2017:

  • RISE has had 28 Latino students and 44 underrepresented minority students earn a Ph.D. 
  • RISE has supported 44 Latino students and 49 underrepresented minority students to receive a Masters in STEM. 
  •  Program retention of 97% Ph.D. completion and 84% Masters degree completion, compared to 70% national average.
  • 8 of the 28 RISE Latino NMSU PhDs hold faculty positions, a number that exceeds national estimates of 20% Ph.Ds in STEM faculty jobs.
  • RISE has exceeded goals of 90% Ph.D. and 75% Masters degree completion for Latinos and underrepresented minorities. 

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