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Bridges to Baccalaureate

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health NIH Grant R25GM056647 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences

2021 Program Announcement 

Deadline: March 22, 2021


Dr. Luis Mota-Bravo, Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs,  School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz, Director of Student Academic Development of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs,  School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Arnold Guerra, Professor of Biology, Orange Coast College 


The Minority Science Programs (MSP) in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) announces the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The objective of the Bridges Program is to advance the careers of students from community colleges interested in pursuing a biomedical research career. The program has been designed to:

  • Provide comprehensive research training to Bridges participants while they receive financial compensation. Paid training components include: 1) research conducted under the direction of UCI faculty mentors, 2) a faculty seminar series, 3) a journal club to introduce scholars to critical reading of current biomedical literature, 4) an intensive workshop on principles, instrumentation and techniques used in biomedical research, 5) preparation of papers, oral presentations and posters, and 6) presentation of research findings at local and national conferences
  • Provide academic preparation during the academic year to transfer and excel at UC Irvine
  • Inform students about career choices and opportunities


Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents from underrepresented groups (Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, or  individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds as defined by [NOT-OD-20-031]). Applicants should be enrolled full-time in or transferring from community colleges. Bridges participants should have completed one semester of transferable chemistry and biology at the community college with a science GPA of at least 3.00 (however, exceptions to the GPA requirement can be made for students with special recommendations from science faculty from their community college).


Participants in the Bridges program receive practical training in modern laboratory techniques and then are placed in supportive UCI laboratory working environments where they establish peer/mentor relationships. Bridges participants are paired with junior and senior-year UCI undergraduate students, minority graduate students or supportive staff research associates.


Training at UCI is full-time (40 hrs/week) from June 7 to August 13, 2021 (with the possibility of extended it until September 17, 2021, by previous authorization of the director). Paid research training consist of working as a full-time UCI employee during the summer (10 weeks), receiving a compensation. During the summer, Bridges participants attend a workshop on modern laboratory methods,  Weekly sessions of the Faculty Seminars, Weekly Journal Club and Progress Report Sessions, MSP Bridges Research Symposium. Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program participants are required to prepare a 5-page paper describing the research project that they developed over the summer. These papers are due on August 12, 2021. Bridges students are required to present their findings in an oral presentation at the MSP Bridges Research Symposium at UCI on August 22, 2021. Financial support is available to attend nationwide conferences to present research findings.


You may download the Bridges Application that contains the Bridges Program Application Form and Statement of Purpose Form.

Please submit  your signed application, transcripts and letters to the following address:

Dr. Marlene de la  Cruz ( Bridges Application)
1134 Biological Sciences III
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-252

For additional information about Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program please contact:

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz
Director Academic Student Development Outreach
Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs,  School of Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine
1134 Biological Sciences III
Irvine, CA 92697
Ph: (949) 824-2589
Fax: (949) 824-6599
e-mail: marlene@uci.edu