Evaluation and Impact
The BRAINS participants are surveyed annually to assess long-term program impact. "Learning to Thrive: Building Diverse Scientists' Access to Community and Resources through the BRAINS Program," (CBE - Life Sciences Education, Sept. 2016) reports early data on near-term individual impacts on career-advancing behaviors and career experiences of BRAINS participants from the 2013 and 2014 cohorts. Also, a poster about the impact of BRAINS was presented at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.
1. Early Program Impacts
BRAINS has had two cohorts to date, one starting in January 2013 and another in September 2014. Total participants: N = 56. Participation in BRAINS leads to near-term impacts on career advancing behaviors and experiences.
Career Advancing Behaviors
BRAINS participants reported successful career progression, research productivity and increased connection with other scientists. In fall 2015, 42.9% of participants were in tenure-track positions (versus 25% at application), and 55/56 were in science careers (Table 1). Participants also exhibited high research productivity, garnering 28 funded proposals (~$5M), 61 published manuscripts, and two promotions to associate professors as of Fall 2015. Participants engaged in more networking and mentoring activities after their BRAINS experience (Figure 2).
As illustrated in Figure 2, BRAINS participants reported an increased sense of belonging to neuroscience and increased self efficacy.
|Figure 2: Increases in sense of belonging and career self-efficacy mean index scores from time of application to the BRAIS Program to one year later.|
2. Anticipated Long-Term Impacts
We expected that near-term individual impacts will both lead to long term career impacts on participants as well as impact diversity and inclusion in neuroscience at the national scale. Figure 3 illustrates the BRAINS program theory and impacts.