The purpose of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program is to increase the number of historically underrepresented students who receive doctoral training in public health, with the ultimate goal of developing a diverse research and scientific workforce in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

The IMSD program is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in research. IMSD graduates are expected to enter academic and research-oriented careers specializing in behavioral or biomedical science approaches to public health.

Students in the IMSD program receive a Graduate Research Assistantship salary, tuition support, and travel funds to attend one scientific conference per year.

The IMSD program offers activities designed to strengthen skills and facilitate the transition into careers in research, including:

  • A seminar course that provides workshops on scientific writing, techniques and coping strategies for success in graduate school, and research career and professional development

  • Research placements characterized by strong mentoring relationships with faculty members in the school of public health

  • Subsidized attendance at scientific conferences

Each year, IMSD organizes and hosts the annual Student Research Diversity Day (SRDD) to showcase the variety of student work and research in the field of public health.  The conference, which is co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Office of Educational Programs, features posters and oral presentations by Mailman students.  In addition, local high school students are invited to attend SRDD to introduce them to the field of public health.

IMSD programs are funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. 

Program Directors

Gina M. Wingood, ScD, MPH
Department of Sociomedical Sciences

Silvia Martins, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology

Ana Navas-Acien, MD, MPH, PhD
Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Jeff Goldsmith, PhD
Department of Biostatistics