About Us

MILRD is an education organization that collaborates with research groups, companies, and nonprofits to create enriching "Virtual Training Projects" for professionals, trainees and students. 

MILRD is pursuing 501(c)(3) non-profit status and is currently fiscally sponsored by SocialGood—a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to “create and establish positive influences for individuals, communities, and the environment.” Fiscal sponsorship via SocialGood enables us to accept tax-deductible donations and grants to support disadvantaged and underrepresented high school and college students as we complete the non-profit certification process.  

If you are interested in philanthropically supporting our efforts, please contact us at [email protected].

2020 in Review (FIRST Year Offering VTPs)

VTP Participant Education/Career Level

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Participation by career/education level was approximately evenly split across Professionals/Trainees/Graduate-students (40%), Undergraduates (25%), and High Schoolers (35%)—underscoring that VTPs can support a wide range of participant experience levels without leaving beginners behind or holding back those with more expertise.

Demographic Breakdown of VTP Participants (Self-reported)

A demographic breakdown of VTP participation across race, hispanic ancestry, and self-reported gender indicate our diversity and inclusion efforts show promise

*Participants are presented a blank text box when asked to report their gender.

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  • Participants from over 50 organizations completed 1-week VTPs.

  • Feedback from VTP participants has been very positive across demographics—from established research scientists to high school students.

  • Partnered with MindsOf Initiative and RISE Program at Hunter College to enroll students from underrepresented groups.

  • Awarded a grant from Illumina to enroll underrepresented minority scientists in VTPs (November 2020).

Collaborators

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MindsOf Initiative is a mentorship program that supports aspiring professionals of Caribbean heritage across a broad range of fields. This initiative provides career guidance and training opportunities to high schoolers, undergraduates, and young professionals. MindsOf and MILRD collaborate to provide cost-free VTPs to underrepresented minority students.

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The mission of the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program (RISE) at CUNY’s Hunter College is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in biomedical and behavioral research who successfully complete a PhD in these fields. An initiative funded by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, RISE at Hunter provides both financial and professional development support to undergraduates and graduate students while they pursue training in biomedical research to ultimately obtain a PhD degree. MILRD works with Hunter to enroll and support interested RISE students in our VTPs to provide them additional training opportunities in computational biology, genomics, and bioinformatics. 

Philanthropic Support

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The Illumina Corporate Foundation is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to accelerate access to genomics and empower Illumina employees to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. They seek to inspire a passion for science by investing in genomic literacy through STEM education programs and encouraging employees to share their time, talent and technological expertise.

The Illumina Corporate Foundation has generously provided financial support to MILRD and MindsOf to enroll high school and college students from underrepresented backgrounds in VTPs related to bioinformatics and genomics. Press release.

If you are interested to apply to enroll in this initiative, please consult our Tuition and Financial Aid page.