In the summer of 2002, the UW GenOM Project was launched at the University of Washington to support two Centers of Excellence in Genome Sciences (CEGS); the Microscale Life Sciences Center and the University of Washington Genome Center. This outreach effort was the first of its kind funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute and remains a national model for minority programs. It included undergraduate and high school research, graduate student support, academic training in the life sciences, scholarships, and partnerships with other minority outreach programs, called Diversity Action Plan (DAP) programs.
Over the course of the first ten years, the UW GenOM Project has had a retention rate of nearly 90%, making a substantial difference in the numbers of underrepresented students who are pursuing advanced degrees in the sciences at the University of Washington and beyond. As of 2012, the UW GenOM Project is no longer directly connected to the two Centers of Excellence in Genome Sciences. Instead, we are now linked to the Department of Genome Sciences' Genome Training Grant program, also funded by the National Institutes of Health. The program still remains a DAP program, though with this new relationship, we now focus exclusively on providing research opportunities and academic support for undergraduate students, deffering to the Genome Training Grant as a pathway to support graduate students.
Our renewed focus on undergraduate students has enabled the program to build even stronger partnerships across campus as well as the city of Seattle. In the summer of 2013, after ten years housed in the College of Engineering, the UW GenOM Project, now affiliated with the Department of Genome Sciences, officially moved to the Office of Research. This move will enable our program to grow in ways we could not have imagined previously, and we are eager to see what the coming years will bring for the program and our students.
To donate to the UW GenOM Project, click here.