Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research (PODER) is a large undergraduate biomedical research training program established in 2014 by a $22 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Under the auspices of the NIH Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), BUILD PODER is one of ten NIH-funded BUILD sites that train undergraduates to become biomedical researchers. Along with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and the Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC), BUILD sites coordinate their activities and data to develop a national database of best practices.
PODER stands for Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research. Poder also means “power” or “to be able to" in Spanish. Through the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT), we focus on social justice and reducing health disparities in communities. CRT is the basis for many programmatic activities including the student Summer JumpStart program and faculty mentor training. At BUILD PODER, we believe that when we diversify the biomedical workforce, researchers will generate innovative and relevant research questions, methods, and interpretations that will lead to health equity.
BUILD PODER is sustained by the formation of a new Health Equity Research and Education (HERE) Center that supports 4 cluster-hired faculty members and postdoctoral scholars in engaging undergraduates in biomedical research.