Document 11667430

Frequently Asked Questions About The Opening Doors Program (Student) 1. What is the Opening Doors Program?
Funded in 2011 by a 5-­‐year National Institutes of Health R25 grant to the Drexel University School of Public
Health (SPH), the Opening Doors Program is designed to provide undergraduate, graduate and medical
students with education and training to pursue advanced study and careers as health disparities
researchers. Priority will be given to students who are racial/ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT); people with disabilities, and from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
2. How many students will be admitted into the Opening Doors Program each year?
Approximately 24 students will participate in the Program annually. These include up to:  9-­‐10 undergraduate students (juniors and seniors) from Drexel University and other universities.
 10 Drexel SPH MPH or MS students (Executive MPH students are not eligible to participate)
 2 Drexel SPH doctoral students; and
 2-­‐3 Drexel College of Medicine (DUCOM) students.
3. What are the eligibility criteria for Opening Doors Program applicants? (must fall into one of the categories)
 Undergraduates: Sophomores and juniors in social and natural science disciplines with a GPA of at least
3.0.  Graduate Students: Must be enrolled full-­‐time as MPH, MS or doctoral students in the Drexel SPH and
carry a GPA of at least 3.33. First year students without a graduate GPA must have at least a 3.0
undergraduate GPA.
 DUCOM Students: Must be enrolled at DUCOM full-­‐time and be in good academic standing. Priority will
be given to students in the joint MD/MPH degree program.
4. How can students apply to the Opening Doors Program?
The Opening Doors Program will utilize an online application system. Students interested in applying to
the Opening Doors Program should go to, and click on the
how to apply link and following the instructions:
 A completed application
 A current resume
 Unofficial transcripts*
 An essay, not to exceed 500 words, that describes any academic or professional experience and/or
interests relevant to health disparities research, and the reason for applying to the Opening Doors
Program. Applicants should clearly state how acceptance into the Program relates to their future career
 A letter of reference from a faculty member or work supervisor who can speak to the student’s interest
in health disparities and/or academic research
*While unofficial transcripts are recommended, submission of official transcripts by mail can be sent to:
Opening Doors Health Disparities Research Training Program Attn: Sabrina DeVose
3215 Market Street, Nesbitt Hall - 2nd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19104
1 Updated: 6/24/14 5. What is the duration of students’ participation in the Opening Doors Program?
This is an 8 month graduate student program. There are two concurrent graduate cohorts (October 2014 to
May 2015, and January 2015 to August 2015). For undergraduate and DUCOM students, the program is 10
weeks long and begins in June. The time commitment during both the academic year and summer is
approximately 300 hours, not including the mandatory seminars. That is, during the academic year, graduate
students will work on faculty health disparities research projects between 10 to 15 hours per week across 20
weeks; and 20 to 30 hours per week during the 10-­‐week summer program. Undergraduate and DUCOM
students work on faculty health disparities research projects for 20 to 30 hours per week for a total of 10
weeks across the summer. Students can only participate in the program once. All students accepted into the
program must be available during the summer to complete the mandatory seminars and research.
6. What kinds of research activities are available to students?
Students will assist faculty with tasks relevant to the faculty members’ health disparities research
projects. Research tasks include, but are not limited to: conducting literature reviews, data entry, data
analysis, drafting manuscripts, or preparing presentations. Faculty select projects that graduate students
can complete in 8 months, and that DUCOM and undergraduate students can complete in 10 weeks.
7. In what other activities will students participate?
During the summer, students will also participate in a series of mandatory seminars taught by SPH faculty.
Sample seminars include:
 History of Health Disparities Research/Responsible Ethnic Research Conduct
 Health Disparities Research
 Research Methods (Qualitative, Quantitative, Mixed Methods)
 Pathways to Health Disparities Careers
 Professionalism and Leadership
 Preparing Articles, Grant Proposals and Professional Presentations
 GRE Preparation Seminar (for undergraduate and graduate students)
8. Can Drexel students participate in the Opening Doors Program in fulfillment of their MPH or doctoral
program requirements?
CBMPs and dissertations are separate and distinct academic requirements and your Opening Doors project cannot
be utilized as your CBMP or dissertation. Your Opening Doors project can potentially be used to complete the MPH
practicum requirement pending review and approval via the normal practicum approval process.
9. What stipends are available to students?
Undergraduate Students: $5,400
Master’s Students: $8,000
 Doctoral Students: $8,500
 Medical School Students: $6,000
2 Updated: 6/24/14 10. When can incoming Drexel Graduate Students apply to the Opening Doors Program?
Drexel students applying to one of the School of Public Health graduate programs cannot apply to the
Opening Doors Program until they have been officially admitted. Once graduate students have
matriculated in the SPH, they may apply online when application process opens. Applications open:
October 2014 - May 2015 Graduate Student Applications: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
January 2015 - August 2015 Graduate Student Applications: Monday, October 6, 2014
11. When can undergraduate students and medical school students apply to the Opening Doors Program?
Rising junior and senior undergraduates (current sophomores and juniors) and medical school students may
apply to the Opening Doors Program when the online application process is initiated (September 1, 2014).
Applications will be accepted for the summer cohort on a rolling basis. For the summer session,
applications are due February 16, 2015, notifications will be sent out in April. Interested applicants
should email [email protected] in order to receive an account to the online application system.
Students will be notified when they become registered in the online system.
12. How will Opening Doors student applicants be matched with research faculty mentors?
For graduate students, a list of available faculty research projects will be available for student applicants to
view and rank at the time the application process opens. Undergraduate and medical students will have
the opportunity to specify their research interests on the Opening Doors Application Form. The Opening
Doors Admissions Committee will make every attempt to match the research interests of faculty and
students. Additionally, the Opening Doors Advisory Committee meets to review and provide feedback on
the matching process and identified matches. Faculty members have the opportunity to view student
application materials, meet with accepted students, and ultimately make the final decision regarding
specific matching of research projects and students.
13. What can students expect from their Opening Program Doors faculty mentors?
Faculty mentorship is a key component of the Opening Doors Program. Consequently, students can expect
at a minimum that faculty members will:
 Conduct face-­‐to-­‐face meetings with mentees at least once every two weeks during the academic year
with graduate students, and during the summer for undergraduate and DUCOM students. Since the
majority of Program activities occur in the summer, faculty working with mentees during that time are
available for scheduled face-­‐to-­‐face meetings.
 Provide mentees with clear and attainable learning goals.
 Supervise the mentee’s work. Other staff (e.g., project coordinator, senior research assistants, etc.)
may also supervise, but ultimately faculty mentors are expected to provide the bulk of supervision.
 Provide mentees with constructive feedback about their progress on the research project.
 Complete a brief quarterly progress report on the mentee’s progress to be shared with the mentee and
Opening Doors Program staff. In addition to providing the mentees with feedback about their
performance, the report also constitutes documentation in the event that a mentee is not successfully
completing tasks.
14. Where will Opening Doors students conduct their research activities?
The Opening Doors Program staff will work with SPH department heads and faculty mentors to ensure that
all Opening Doors Program mentees have suitable space in which to work. A common workspace is
available during the summer session is the Doctoral Student Lounge on the 7th floor, as well as the Opening
Doors Office, also in the 7th floor of Nesbitt Hall. Faculty with access to other workspace may use that
space if preferred.
Updated: 6/24/14 3 15. Will the Opening Doors Program provide housing for accepted students?
No. Accepted Program students will need to secure their own housing including those enrolled in the
summer session of the Program. Students may contact the Program Administrative Coordinator for
suggestions regarding where to search for summer housing.
16. When will students be notified if their research opportunity has been matched with a specific Opening
Doors faculty mentor?
• October 2013- May 2014 Graduate Student Applications: September 2014
• January 2014- August 2014 Graduate Student Applications: December 2014
• June 2014- August 2014 Undergraduate/ Medical Student Applications: April 2015
During the application review process, faculty will have an opportunity to meet with applicants to determine fit. The Opening Doors Committee will make every effort to match faculty and students according to their indicated ranking preferences. 17. What are the deadlines for the 2014-2015 Opening Doors Program for prospective Drexel University School
of Public Health graduate students? October 2014-May 2015 Graduate Student Session 
July 01, 2014: Application available for graduate students on Opening Doors Program website.
August 11, 2014: Graduate student applications due by 5pm EST
August 25 – September 05, 2014: Faculty may contact graduate applicants to discuss potential
project participation
September 12, 2014: Graduate applicants notified of admittance
 September 19, 2014: Admitted applicants must notify Sabrina DeVose via email ([email protected]) of their acceptance/decline of offer
October 06, 2014: Graduate student program orientation
October 06, 2014: Graduate students begin 8 month program
May 31, 2015: Program Ends
January 2014-August 2015 Graduate Student Cohort Session 
October 06, 2014: Application available for graduate students on Opening Doors Program website.
October 31, 2014: Graduate student applications due by 5pm EST
November 17 – December 5, 2014: Faculty may contact graduate applicants to discuss potential
project participation
December 12, 2014: Graduate applicants notified of admittance
4 Updated: 6/24/14  December 19, 2014: Admitted applicants must notify Sabrina DeVose via email ([email protected])
of their acceptance/decline of offer 
January 5, 2015: Graduate student program orientation
January 10, 2015: Graduate students begin 8 month program
August 14, 2015: Program Ends
June 2015- August 2015 Undergraduate/ Medical Student Cohort Session 
September 1, 2014: Application available for undergraduate and DUCOM students available on
the Opening Doors Program website.
February 16, 2015: Undergraduate and DUCOM student applications due by 5pm EST
March 09– March 20, 2015: Faculty may contract undergraduate and DUCOM applicants to discuss
potential project participation
April 10, 2015: Undergraduate and DUCOM applicants notified of admittance
April 24, 2015: Admitted applicants must notify Sabrina DeVose via email ([email protected]) of their acceptance/decline of offer
June 15, 2015: Undergraduate and DUCOM student program orientation
June 15, 2015: Program summer session begins
August 14, 2015: Program Ends
18. Who is part of the Opening Doors Program Staff and how do I contact them?
Warren Hilton, Ed.D., Associate Dean for Student and External Affairs, is a Co3 Investigator and
Member of the Opening Doors Coordinating Committee. Tel: 267-359-6053; E-mail: [email protected]
Shannon Marquez, PhD., M.Eng., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of Global Public Health
Initiatives, and Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, is the
program’s Principal Investigator. Tel: 267-359-6088; E-mail: [email protected]
Augusta Villanueva, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health &
Prevention, is the program’s Curriculum Coordinator. Tel: 267-359-6082; E-mail: [email protected]
Sabrina DeVose, Academic Coordinator. E-mail: [email protected]
5 Updated: 6/24/14