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Extramural Associates Program Turns 19

The Extramural Associates (EA) Program, a component of the Office of Extramural Research, OD, recently celebrated its 19th birthday in the form of the 1997 Biennial Update Conference attended by some 82 EA alumni. The program was conceived in 1977 and officially began with its first class of EAs in 1978. Its enduring popularity is evidenced by the fact that all three members of the first EA class are still active and at the same institution they were in back in 1978. Moreover, they all attended the conference and, coincidentally, two of the three were interviewed for participation in the EA program by current director Dr. Matthew A. Kinnard.

Extramural Associates Program director Dr. Matthew Kinnard presents an award to NIH deputy director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein at the recent biennial conference. Kirschstein delivered a luncheon address at the 2-day update.

The objective of the EA program was and remains to promote and maximize the participation of minority and women's institutions in biomedical and behavioral research. The purpose of the update conference is to provide a forum for all EA alumni to revisit NIH, learn about new and revised NIH and other federally sponsored programs, learn the latest technology available on information retrieval and exchange and to encourage collaboration among EAs and others.

Kinnard showed that the EA program is accomplishing its mission: EA institutions are experiencing heightened rates of success in submitting proposals and receiving NIH support other than MARC and MBRS; EA institutions are receiving as much if not more research support from other federal agencies than they receive from NIH; the culture and climate for research on EA campuses is quickly being transformed; and EA graduates are rapidly being elevated to positions of authority such as chancellors, presidents, vice presidents, deans and heads of departments on EA and other campuses.

The next scheduled biennial EA update conference is in 1999.

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