The University of Virginia Chemistry Department was chosen to become an ACS Bridge Program Partner, joining 40 other major academic institutions around the country. The American Chemical Society Bridge Program (ACS-BP) has a mission to increase the number of chemical science PhDs awarded to underrepresented (UR) students defined by the project as primarily Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students. As part of a national effort, the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN), ACS-BP will play a key role in fostering a sustainable transition (bridge) program by partnering up with selected institutions. The ACS national network of doctoral-granting institutions will host the selected students and are committed to providing substantial mentoring for students to successfully complete PhD programs.
The ACS Bridge project incorporates practices from programs that have strong evidence of success in supporting UR students. The ACS-BP will also establish links between minority-serving and doctoral-granting institutions through research activities, collaboration, and personal contacts. Since today’s doctoral students will become tomorrow’s academic, industrial, and government leaders, empowering more UR PhDs will lead to a multiplicative effect in inspiring students at all stages of our educational ecosystem and addressing persistent disparities.
Critically, for UVA Chemistry, the affiliation with ACS-BP will provide much greater visibility to our ongoing Bridge to Doctoral Program that was initiated in 2020 (https://graduate.as.virginia.edu/bridge-doctorate). This increased visibility, along with the increased network of Bridge fellows, is expected to widen the applicant pool that apply to our program. We are excited about the prospects of joining forces with ACS and we look forward to strengthening the Bridge Program. If you have any questions, or comments please reach out to Marcos Pires, Director of the Bridge to Doctorate program in the Chemistry Department (firstname.lastname@example.org)