VCU HHMI Summer Scholars Program – Accepting Applications

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VCU Life Sciences is now accepting applications for the 2011 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Scholars Program in Systems Biology at VCU.  The program is a 10-week, intensive, summer research experience.  Students perform research in the lab of a VCU faculty research mentor and attend classroom sessions and seminars in systems biology.  Housing and a stipend are provided.   For more details and to apply, see:

Summer Scholars Program in Systems Biology


The HHMI Summer Scholars Program at VCU provides undergraduate scholars with a systems view of the life sciences experience. Scholars enter a ten-week residential research fellowship program comprised of four complementary activities outlined below:

Systems biology and biological complexity lectures: Scholars meet at least twice per week for lectures/labs and discussion in systems approaches to biological and biomedical problems. Interactive lectures range in topic from a general overview of systems biology and biological complexity to discussing specific applications to biological and biomedical research.

Seminars and lectures in systems biology: Scholars attend and participate in seminars presented by experts in systems biology. Following an hour-long general seminar, HHMI scholars interact with visiting speakers during lunch, where speakers will discuss career decision-making options and opportunities.

Intensive summer research experience: Scholars pair with research faculty from across the university in an intensive summer research experience in the general area of systems biology. Faculty offering summer research experiences are drawn from the more than 200 faculty that participate in VCU Life Sciences. These faculty are among our best funded researchers and are fellows of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity (CSBC). They reside in more than 16 different departments in the Colleges of Humanities and Sciences, Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Engineering. Each scholar will have a realistic opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of contemporary systems-based biological and biomedical research.

Opportunities include:

  • Learning the application of the scientific method;
  • Attending relevant scientific meetings;
  • Preparing reports for experiments; and
  • Presenting results of experiments to peers and advisors.

Scholars present the results of their research at a Closing Symposium in the final week of the summer session. Scholars are encouraged to continue and publish results of their projects.

Exposure to diverse research environments: The HHMI Summer Scholars Program includes visits to academic, government, industrial and commercial labs, such as NIH, NSF, TIGR, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Philip Morris USA and biotechnology companies in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park.



UROP Poster Workshop Session – February 24th

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The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program will be holding a poster workshop session on Thursday, February 24th in Hibbs Hall B-26 at 2pm.  The workshop will focus on the significance of a poster as a vehicle for research presentation while covering some of the technical aspects of poster creation from design to printing.

Completion of the workshop will assist in preparing undergrads to present their work, whether for the Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity taking place on campus April 20, 2011, or for any other national conferences related to undergraduate research.

In order to participate in the workshop, students must first register with Herb Hill at to ensure sufficient space.  If you would like to workshop your poster, but are unable to attend any of the announced sessions, please contact Herb Hill to schedule an alternate meeting time.


VCU Center on Health Disparities Research Training Opportunities



 The deadline for the Research Training Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Health Disparities is approaching. VCU Center on Health Disparities offers several Research Training Programs for all types of students. We offer programs fro Undergraduates, Post-Bacs, Masters, Doctoral, and Post-Docs. The deadline for all undergraduate programs is February 15, the PREP program is March 15, and IRACDA is April 1.

 For Undergraduates:

If you are interested in a summer research training internship, please check out our Health Education Research Opportunities (HERO) or Health Disparities Research Experience. Both programs run from early June to early August and offer a paid internship. The programs provide a 10-week research training experience, a stipend, GRE prep, participation in Oral and Poster Presentations, career development, and research training skills development. Check out our website and view our application! The links are provided below:

 VCU also hosts the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ Short-term Educator Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) students for 10 weeks over the summer. To find out more information about STEP-UP, please visit:

 IMSD Undergraduate Scholars

The VCU Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity is a biomedical research training program for undergraduate students interested in biomedical research. VCU-IMSD scholars participate in research internships in the summers following their freshman and sophomore years and during their junior and senior academic years. Scholars also enroll in a series of courses that help develop their skills in biomedical research, critical thinking, problem solving, and written and oral communication. The VCU-IMSD program also offers specialized career counseling, assistance with graduate school applications, and a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation course, as well as the opportunity to attend national scientific conferences. Paid research internships are available for select scholars.

 MARC Scholars Program

 The VCU Minority Access to Research Careers (VCU-MARC) is designed to help support students and place them in research labs. The VCU-MARC program provides a stipend of approximately $11,000 per year and cover 60% of undergraduate tuition, as well as provide a summer externship. VCU-MARC seeks underrepresented minority students who are African-American, Hispanic American, Native American, economically disadvantaged (Pell grant eligible) or disabled. Eligible students should be currently enrolled juniors or seniors who have a sincere interest in scientific research with a GPA of at least 3.2.


 The VCU PREP Program is a one year research training experience for students to train in the lab and be able to learn what it is like in grad school.

Contact Mary Bramley with any questions:


VCU Elevated by Carnegie Foundation

Carnegie Foundation Upgrades VCU to

‘Research University, Very High Research Activity’


The Carnegie Foundation has elevated Virginia Commonwealth University to “Very High Research Activity” status, which combined with its “Community Engaged” designation makes VCU just one of 28 public universities in the country with academic medical centers to achieve both distinctions.

“The combination of the two designations speaks to the quality and quantity of funded research being conducted at VCU, and the commitment that VCU has made to the community in which it resides,” said VCU President Michael Rao.

“This designation on the heels of VCU’s receipt of the prestigious National Institutes of Health grant to further clinical translational research sends a clear message that VCU is a significant academic research university in the region and in the United States,” Rao said.

The Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four decades. Starting in 1970, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education developed a classification of colleges and universities to support its program of research and policy analysis. Doctoral institutions are classified as either very high or high based upon funded research and doctoral degrees awarded.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Call for Abstracts – Annual Poster Symposium – Writing Center Consultations

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Third Annual Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Undergraduate students from every discipline are invited to showcase their work.  Presentations can be for completed research projects, completed papers, or research in progress.

Poster abstracts should be submitted to no later than March 10th, 2011. Abstracts should document the research process, provide context for the creative work, and indicate the type of creative format that will be presented.

Projects involving creative work such as prose or poetry, performances, and artwork will be considered for acceptance if they are part of a scholarly project undertaken by the student.

The UC Writing Center is offering research workshops and one-on-one consultations to develop poster abstracts.  Check the Writing Center schedule or set up a consultation here:

Please direct any questions or concerns to Herb Hill at or 804-828-4450.