Beyond Online Registration
IBRP Program, National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health annually holds the Introduction to Biomedical Training Programs (IBRP) to encourage students to enter the field of biomedical research. It involves four days of seminars and interviews, following which selected participants are offered prestigious internships. While the program sought to reach out to minority students, a sluggish application process to the Minority Research Training Programs deterred many from participating.
GMRI's Services Division, now Fulcrum IT, developed an online registration system to streamline IBRP's recruiting, both from the perspective of the applicants and the administrators. Now at the IBRP website, applicants enter general information about themselves, their interests, their grades, their resumes, and two references. Upon submission, the application system automatically e-mails the references and asks them to enter their assessment of the student at a specified location online.
For NIH reviewers, the system provides an evaluation module to rate student entries against five criteria, allowing room for free-form comments. The system presents the individual and aggregated rankings for each student to the lead reviewers, who then check off which students are invited to IBRP and which go on the waiting list. As student responses arrive, the system automatically logs who accepts and who declines in the database.
A scheduling module organizes the program. Participating scientists and interviewers are entered, as are the seminars, general sessions, and their descriptions. Screens are then provided for scheduling the scientists and students for their sessions and interviews. This information is used to generate printed schedules and mass mailings and distributions.