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IMSD Scholars

The IMSD Scholars program is an undergraduate research-intensive program for students who are committed to pursuing a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in the biomedical or behavioral sciences. The program supports a community of scholars who will obtain significant research experience, develop leadership and communication skills and are prepared to be highly competitive applicants for graduate programs in the biological and behavioral sciences.

The UC Berkeley IMSD Programs are currently pending renewal of grant funding. No new students will be selected in 2014, but please check back in 2015 to see if we will be offering this program.

Program Benefits

  1. Salary support for your research, at $11.50/hour (maximum 12 hours/week during fall and spring semesters, up to 35 hours/week during the summer)
  2. Membership in a community of scholars dedicated to excellence in science, leadership, service and social responsibility
  3. Academic support including tutoring and advising by staff dedicated to student success in biology
  4. Individualized mentoring and advising from the IMSD Coordinators, IMSD Graduate Fellows and IMSD Faculty
  5. Workshops and seminars on research careers, graduate applications/admissions, communicating research, and other professional development topics
  6. Intensive mentored research in laboratories of UC faculty
  7. Presentation of your research project at symposia and retreats
  8. Travel support to present your research at a scientific conference (up to $1000)
  9. Lab supply award to support your research project (up to $600)
  10. Student organized short-term externships to explore research career options


  1. Be at least a rising Junior or Senior at UCB at the time of application
  2. Have prior research experience
  3. Be a major or intended major in Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Environmental Science and Policy Management, Plant and Microbial Biology, Molecular Environmental Biology, Molecular Toxicology, Nutritional Science, Public Health, Bioengineering, Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Psychology
  4. Minimum 3.0 GPA preferred
  5. Be a US citizen, permanent resident or non-citizen national (See application for details)
  6. Fit with the goals of the program to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups pursuing and earning Ph.Ds or MD/Ph.Ds 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 from a disadvantaged background (as defined in the application)
  7. Must intend to apply for a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. program in the biomedical or behavioral sciences within 1-2 years after graduation from UC Berkeley


These are just some of the basic expectations. If you are selected, you will be given a more detailed list of expectations that you must agree to upon acceptance of an IMSD Scholars position.  

  1. Agree to commit to the program appointment period (12 months, 6/1/13 - 5/30/14)
  2. Maintain a high standard of academic achievement
  3. Apply to graduate school (Ph.D. or M.D/Ph.D. program) within 1-2 years after graduation from UC Berkeley
  4. Attend and participate in all IMSD program activities (i.e. seminars, weekly meetings, workshops, symposia, etc.)
  5. Work in the lab between 10-12 hours/week during the fall and spring semester and 30-35 hours/week in the summer during the 10 week summer program (approximately May 28 – August 2, 2013)
  6. Meet with the IMSD Coordinators a minimum of 2 times per semester (beginning and end of semester check-ins) and when requested
  7. Although the UC Berkeley IMSD Program is administered by the Biology Scholars Program (BSP), you do not have to be a BSP member to apply. Applicants who are selected will become BSP members and must also meet the expectations of being a BSP member, including attending a program orientation, the All Student Meeting each semester, and meeting with BSP advisors. Please visit http://bsp.berkeley.edu/ for more information about BSP.

How to Apply

First make sure to carefully read the program description, requirements and application (linked below). All other things being equal, priority will be given to those applicants who already have a placement in the lab in which they wish to continue. Therefore, if you do not have a current lab position or would like to change labs, we strongly encourage you to talk with the IMSD Coordinators, Corey Welch (510) 643-3866 or Rachel Henderson (510) 643-4746 well BEFORE the application deadline about how to find a lab placement that is a good fit for you. Remember that prior research experience is required for the IMSD scholars program.

For general questions on the application or program, please email imsd@berkeley.edu.

All complete applications must include the following items:

Completed IMSD Scholars Online Application which contains:

  1. All essays
  2. One copy of your most recent transcript
  3. One copy of your resume
  4. Two letters of recommendation (instructions for writers via link) sent by recommender via email to imsd.berkeley.edu. If you are currently in a lab and wish to continue in that lab, one letter MUST be from your current PI.