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Pre-IMSD Undergraduate Research Program

The UC Berkeley Pre-IMSD Undergraduate Research Program is designed for those undergraduates who want to explore their interest in pursuing a research career.  The overall goal of the NIH-sponsored IMSD Program is to increase the number of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences who go on to earn Ph.D.s in those fields.

The Pre-IMSD Research Program provides support for both continuing and first-time research opportunities in laboratories of UC Berkeley faculty. In addition to laboratory research, students will participate in program activities designed to inform them about research career options and to build their professional skills.

Each semester up to 10 students will be selected as participants in the program described below:

  • Paid semester long mentored research experience in UCB faculty labs at a rate of $11.50/hour for 10-12 hours/week. Students can be continuing in a research laboratory or just starting, but they are responsible for arranging their own lab placement before the beginning of the semester. IMSD staff can assist in this process. Please contact Dr. Corey Welch, coreywelch@berkeley.edu if you have questions or would like advice about finding a lab.
  • Monthly events including seminars and workshops
  • Training in leadership and scientific communication through organizing and presenting research at the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 3, 2014.
  • Mentoring and advising by IMSD staff and faculty
  • Currently enrolled UCB student
  • All other things being equal, priority is given to first and second year students, transfer students, and Pre-IMSD Summer students continuing in their labs
  • Major or intended major in Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Plant and Microbial Biology, Molecular Environmental Biology, Molecular Toxicology, Nutritional Science, Public Health, Bioengineering, Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Psychology
  • Minimum 2.7 GPA preferred
  • US citizen, permanent resident, or non-citizen national (a person who, although not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the US. They are generally persons born in lands under US jurisdiction, for example, American Samoa)
  • Fit with the goals of the program to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups pursuing and earning Ph.D.'s or M.D./Ph.D.'s in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Nationally, groups found to be underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, Natives of the US Pacific Islands, disabled students, first generation college students, or students from a disadvantaged background
  • Interest in research and pursing a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in the biomedical or behavioral sciences
  • Agree to commit to all of the Spring program requirements
  • Complete and attend monthly meetings and assigned activities (i.e. program orientation, seminars, workshops, assignments, symposia – approximately 1 per month during the semester). 
  • Attend 3 Symposium Planning Meetings during the Spring 2014 Semester
  • Organize and present at the Biology Scholars Program Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium (early May 2014)
  • Work in the lab a minimum of 10-12 hours/week in the Fall semester.
  • You cannot receive units for research supported by the IMSD program.
  • Meet individually with IMSD Coordinators at least once during the semester
  • Agree to complete any surveys or interviews and to maintain communication with IMSD staff after completion of the program and graduation from Berkeley

How to Apply

First make sure to read the program description, eligibility, and requirements. For questions and/or application assistance please email us at imsd@berkeley.edu.

We require ONE letter of recommendation from individuals familiar with your interests, abilities, and career goals. If you are currently working in a lab and plan on continuing research in that lab, the letter MUST be from your PI/Research Supervisor. If you are joining a new lab, please get a letter of support from your new lab. For students who are not currently in lab, the letter can be from any individual in or outside of the University and might include your professors, GSIs, research supervisor, employers, or former teachers. The best letters will come from individuals who know you well and can speak to your academic preparation, capacity to do research, and interest in research.

Suggestions for requesting a recommendation letter: Contact your recommender well in advance and ask them if they will write you a letter. Tell them about the program and why you are applying. Include information about the submission deadline and how/where to submit the letters. You may also want to email a copy of a recent resume to update any recommenders that you have not had recent contact with. Recommenders’ letters should address how they know you, your motivations and potential to do independent research and how you will benefit from participation.

Submission of Letter of Recommendation:  Recommenders can email letters directly from the letter writer's email to imsd@berkeley.edu. Letters must be sent as a PDF attachment.

Pre-IMSD Spring 2014 Electronic Application