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PrIMES Awarded Engaged Opportunity Grant

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Dr. Benjamin Hartley, Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, and Dr. Philip Stieg, Chairman of the Neurological Surgery Department
Dr. Benjamin Hartley, Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, and Dr. Philip Stieg, Chairman of the Neurological Surgery Department.

The Program for Individualized Mentorship Education Solutions (PrIMES), has been awarded an Engaged Opportunity Grant offered through Cornell University’s Engaged Cornell initiative. The grant will allow PrIMES to devote more resources to Mentees, and help expand the program nationally.

“This funding will help us expand PrIMES and benefit our Mentees,” says Dr. Ben Hartley, a fifth-year resident and one of the co-founders of PrIMES. "We are expanding the program over 400% this year, and this grant is essential for automating and expanding our data-driven approach, reaching more students, and directly connecting our Mentees to the resources they need."

The Engaged Opportunity Grant stems from the “Engaged Cornell” initiative based at the main campus in Ithaca, which aims to help support projects of all sizes across Cornell University. In addition to funding, grantees will have access to events that offer expertise and resources such as supplemental funding opportunities, workshops and development opportunities, and networking opportunities with like-minded colleagues.

PrIMES, co-founded in 2018 by Dr. Hartley and Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, provides support and mentorship to college students from populations traditionally under-represented in medicine. The program matches these students with a resident or medical student Mentor, who helps them become the strongest medical school applicant they can be. In its first year, 11 students from Weill Cornell Medical College met regularly with their undergraduate Mentees in person and virtually. The pairs follow a targeted, individualized curriculum that emphasizes practical skills, need-based guidance, and access to resources. The first PrIMES cohort has already made significant gains toward their goal of becoming physicians. PrIMES is currently screening applications for the second cohort, which will be much larger than the first and feature a variety of new and improved resources.

To learn more about PrIMES, please click here.