The National Genomics Research Initiative (NGRI) is an educational experiment to give college freshmen an authentic research experience. In 2009, the SEA, headquartered at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, added 12 more universities and colleges to its inaugural group of 12 participating in the NGRI across the United States. The new schools will offer the year-long course beginning in fall 2009. Eventually, HHMI will select at least 36 schools to participate in the NGRI.
Edwin Vazquez, who will be teaching the course at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, is most excited about being part of a network of educators. “It helps me and other professors who believe that students should be exposed to research as early as possible, and we want to infuse this across the curriculum,” Vazquez says. “Science can only be understood by doing it. There is no other way.”