Research in Higher Education

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 126–152 | Cite as

Training Future Scientists: Predicting First-year Minority Student Participation in Health Science Research

  • Sylvia Hurtado
  • M. Kevin Eagan
  • Nolan L. Cabrera
  • Monica H. Lin
  • Julie Park
  • Miguel Lopez


Using longitudinal data from the UCLA Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) and Your First College Year (YFCY) surveys, this study examines predictors of the likelihood that science-oriented students would participate in a health science undergraduate research program during the first year of college. The key predictors of participation in health science research programs are students’ reliance on peer networks and whether campuses provide structured opportunities for first-year students even though only 12% of freshmen in the sample engaged in this activity. These experiences are particularly important for Black students. The findings inform efforts to orient students at an early stage, particularly under-represented minorities, toward biomedical and behavioral science research careers.


Undergraduate science research Racial/ethnic minorities College impact First-year experiences 



This study was made possible by the support of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH Grant Number 1 RO1 GMO71968-01. This independent research and the views expressed here do not indicate endorsement by the sponsor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvia Hurtado
    • 1
  • M. Kevin Eagan
    • 1
  • Nolan L. Cabrera
    • 1
  • Monica H. Lin
    • 1
  • Julie Park
    • 1
  • Miguel Lopez
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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