The Research, Advising, and Mentoring Professional: a Unique Approach to Supporting Underrepresented Students in Biomedical Research

  • Lori Gildehaus
  • Paul Cotter
  • Sharon Buck
  • Marsha Sousa
  • Karsten Hueffer
  • Arleigh Reynolds


As a pilot intervention strategy to support undergraduate students, especially rural and Alaska Native students who are pursuing biomedical science research and career trajectories, we have developed a unique, mid-level Research, Advising, and Mentoring Professional (RAMP) position. In this article we outline the reasons for creating this position, RAMP qualifications, training, duties, and differences between RAMP and other positions typically found in higher education. Additionally, we discuss the evolution of the position and why it may be of interest to other institutions as they address similar issues involving students from underrepresented groups. Preliminary survey and focus group data from students mentored directly by RAMPs indicated that the holistic advising approach of RAMPs has had a positive impact on student experiences by supporting persistence in degree programs and providing psychosocial support of both personal and professional development.


Underrepresented students Mentoring Alaska native Biomedical research Student support 



The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers UL1GM118991, TL4GM118992, or RL5GM118990. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Gildehaus
    • 1
  • Paul Cotter
    • 2
  • Sharon Buck
    • 2
  • Marsha Sousa
    • 1
  • Karsten Hueffer
    • 1
  • Arleigh Reynolds
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.EvalulogicFairbanksUSA

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