BUILD EXITO is an undergraduate research training program that supports students on their pathway to become scientific researchers. PSU received a major grant from the National Institutes of Health to serve as a center for innovation to help undergraduates, including those from diverse backgrounds, be successful in health research careers. Oregon Health and Sciences University serves as the research intensive partner, providing crucial support, guidance, and expertise as PSU develops and implements EXITO.
The BUILD EXITO program features several curricular enhancements to support the development of scholars as researchers. A team mentoring approach is used to meet the multi-dimensional needs of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds embarking on a demanding research-oriented career trajectory. BUILD EXITO is working to transform systems with the university to better address the personal, social, academic, and financial needs of EXITO Scholars. Our goal is to demonstrate how our institutions can be responsive and adaptable to support the success of all students, particularly those who have traditionally encountered institutional barriers. A centerpiece of the BUILD EXITO program is the opportunity for scholars to gain research experience as contributing members of Research Learning Communities (RLCs) headed by leading researchers. EXITO RLCs engage undergraduate students in meaningful research activities on externally-funded, faculty-directed studies across a range of health-related fields (e.g., biomedical, behavioral, social, clinical, and translational research).