KINGSTON, R.I. – November 9, 2020 – University of Rhode Island senior Naomi Pajarillo never imagined herself earning a doctorate when she first enrolled at the University three years ago. But thanks to some excellent mentors, hands-on research opportunities, and a new program designed to boost access to scientific research careers among under-represented populations, she is well on her way.
“I don’t see a lot of people that look like me among science researchers,” said Pajarillo, a cell and molecular biology major from Providence, “so I was facing imposter syndrome. I wasn’t sure if I belonged here.”
Pajarillo was then selected to be among the first four students in URI’s new training program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, aimed at increasing the number of under-represented students earning doctorates in biomedical science. Called the MARC U*STAR program – Maximizing Access to Research Careers: Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research – it places students in research …