Bioscience Scholars Program

Overview

The UCLA Bioscience Scholars Summer Program (BSP; formerly SPUR-LABS) is one of several programs comprising UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). BSP provides a rigorous research training experience for undergraduates with interests in a broad range of bioscience disciplines—from molecules to organisms and from basic to translational science. Exceptional research training integrated with professional development activities prepares students to succeed in leading Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs. 

Benefits of the Program

  • Hands-on research experience mentored by an outstanding UCLA faculty member
  • Training in a world-class research environment that includes medical school and college bioscience programs close together on one campus
  • Academic and professional development advising
  • Weekly seminars and workshops on career skills including science writing and presenting
  • Science writing skills tutor for developing an abstract to submit to national conferences
  • Individualized guidance on applying to graduate school
  • Networking with bioscience students and faculty

Check out our BSP highlights and take a look at the type of research previous students have conducted!

Learn More:

Bioscience Scholars participants are matched with an appropriate faculty member based on research interests. There are over 400 faculty mentors in the following 11 research areas.

  • Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Structural Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Gene Regulation, Epigenomics & Transcriptomics
  • Genetics & Genomics
  • Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis
  • Medical Informatics
  • Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology
  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics & Biology in Medicine
  • Application Period:
    • The 2022 application cycle has passed. The next application cycle will open mid-December 2022 and will close the first week of February 2023 for the Summer 2023 program.
  • 2022 Program Dates (Check out our 2022 Bioscience Scholars Program Calendar)
    • Eight week option: June 21 to August 14
    • Ten week option: June 21 to August 28

All participants take part in the same activities, including a poster presentation at the end of the program. Participants in the ten-week program have two additional weeks to work in the laboratory and prepare a poster.

The program aims to contribute to diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of barriers to participation in bioscience research careers and is designed for students in honors research programs that foster transition to doctoral programs (such as Maximizing Access to Research Careers–MARC, Initiative for Maximizing Student Development – IMSD, and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation – LSAMP).

Requirements:

  1. U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident
  2. Must be available to participate in all 8 or 10 weeks of the program. 
  3. Undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges and universities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories.
  4. Prior to beginning the program, completion of at least two years of undergraduate study
  5. Students with 3 quarters or 2 semesters of research experience by the beginning of the program. (Juniors and Seniors must NOT currently be applying to graduate school.) 
  6. Participants may NOT be UCLA students; UCLA students should consider other summer research opportunities such as CARE SEM or Amgen Scholars
  7. Minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0
  8. Intention to pursue a Ph.D. or a joint M.D./Ph.D. in a bioscience field and not admitted to or enrolled in a graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.) at the time the program begins
  • Academic preparation and achievement
  • Relevance of research interests, experiences, and goals
  • Potential for the program to help the applicant achieve his/her career goals
  • Potential to contribute to diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of barriers to participation in bioscience research careers
  • Stipend: $4,000 for 8 weeks, $5000 for 10 weeks
  • Room and board: on-campus housing
  • Travel allowance: up to $500 for out of state students; up to $250 for California residents
  • Fee waiver for UCLA Graduate Application

Take a look at our BSP Highlights and check out the experiences of previous students.

How to Apply

The 2022 application cycle has passed. The next application cycle will open mid-December 2022 and will close the first week of February 2023 for the Summer 2023 program.

The Bioscience Scholars Program is sponsored by UCLA Graduate Programs in Bioscience, in association with UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research and the Undergraduate Research Center-Sciences.

Instructions:

  • Format: Your packet must be a single PDF file, 12-point font, single-spaced, 1inch margins
  • Email to: spurlabs@mednet.ucla.edu 
  • Subject line: Application – Your Last Name, Your First Name (e.g., Application – Moraga, Gloria)
  • Include:
    1. Cover Page
    2. Research Interests
    3. Personal Statement
    4. Diversity Contribution
    5. Transcript
  • Your Name
  • Undergraduate institution and current class year (e.g. junior, senior)
  • Current GPA
  • List any undergraduate research programs you have participated in
  • Indicate whether you are applying for the eight week or ten week option
  • List, in order of preference, up to three of the following research training areas
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Structural Biology
    • Bioinformatics
    • Cell & Developmental Biology
    • Gene Regulation
    • Genetics & Genomics
    • Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis
    • Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology
    • Molecular Pharmacology
    • Neuroscience
    • Physics & Biology in Medicine
  • List, in order of preference, five faculty members with whom you are interested in training
  • 2 pages maximum
  • Content Addresses: 
    • Research Interests & Experience – Describe your prior research experience and accomplishments, your current bioscience research interest, and other relevant personal or professional experiences. 
    • Academic and Career Goals – Describe why you are interested in the UCLA Bioscience Scholars program, your education and career goals, and how this summer program will help you achieve those goals.
    • Address ways in which your personal background, experiences, and/or accomplishments contribute to diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of barriers to participation in bioscience research careers.

Either the Unofficial or official copy of your most recent academic transcript will be accepted

  • The two letters of recommendation must be from science faculty
  • Letters should be signed on university letterhead, scanned, and sent by the recommender to spurlabs@mednet.ucla.edu by the deadline
    • Preferred Subject line: LOR – Applicant Last Name, Applicant First Name (e.g., LOR – Smith, Tom)

Questions?

Please email our Program Directors, Dr. Gregory Payne & Dr. Diana Azurdia, at spurlabs@mednet.ucla.edu

Graduate Programs in Bioscience

Attn: Bioscience Scholars Program

Box 951722, 300 Geffen Hall

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1722