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To address the declining number of people who aspire to science-related careers, Duke  received funding from the National Institutes of Health to provide an engaging 2-week summer science course to rising Duke sophomores, followed by a semester of self-generated research in pharmacology.


The free mini-course provided students with a glimpse of how basic concepts in biology and chemistry can be applied to biomedical and behavioral issues in every day life.  The research course (for credit) allowed students to generate their own research project in pharmacology, mentored by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

LEAP has finished its initial funding period. The impact of the enrichment program on student persistence in science has been published in CBE-Life Sciences Education.  See: Godin-Life Sciences Education


LEAP Program & Science Career Pathways–The Ongoing Study
Drs. Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom (of Duke University), Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia (of Michigan State University), and Tony Perez (of Old Dominion University) are co-investigators of an on-going NIH-funded longitudinal study examining how students’ undergraduate experiences influence their beliefs and feelings about science. A goal of their research is to understand better how people make decisions about whether and how to participate in science. In addition to studying students’ broader experiences, they also investigate whether students’ engagement in the 2-week summer science course (i.e., LEAP Program) influences their engagement in science.


LEAP was funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health