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Program for Excellence & Equity in Research (PEER)

Principal Investigator: 

Dr. Cynthia Peterson
Department Head and Professor
The University of Tennessee
Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
M407 Walters Life and Sciences Building
1414 West Cumberland Avenue
Phone: 865-974-1531

Grant or Funding Agency: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Project Description:

The Program for Excellence & Equity in Research (PEER) is a project funded through the National Institutes of Health that works to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing Ph.D.s in scientific fields, specifically biomedical research.  Because biomedical research has grown into a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary profession, these graduate students will be able to meet the challenges and problems of these fields, because of their familiarity multidisciplinary expertise.  The PEER project provides the researchers with the opportunity to use a wide array of resources available through the University of Tennessee Knoxville and its partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  The student researchers will gain hands-on experience working with groups of researchers and mentoring from practicing professional and provided with rich, interdisciplinary education and training.

Researchers and professors from the College of Communication and Information have worked with the PEER’s Principal Investigator to create a Science Communication Center.  This Center works to provide workshops and tutoring for the doctoral students that cover all aspects of science communication at the professional and general audience level.

Project Website:


Dr. Mark Littmann
The University of Tennessee
Journalism and Electronic Media
333 Communications and University Extension Building
1345 Circle Park
Knoxville, TN 37996-0333
Office Phone: (865) 974-8156
Fax: (865) 974-5056

Secondary Contact:

Sekeenia Haynes
Program Manager
The University of Tennessee
Biochem/Cell and Molec Biol
M407 Walters Life Sciences Building
1414 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-0840
Phone: 865-974-4064