Student FAQs


1.) Who is eligible to apply?

U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-citizen nationals are eligible for VCU CoHD research training programs. Proof of citizenship or residency status before the start of the program is required.


2.) When will I find out if I am accepted?

Most programs notify applicants within four to six weeks of the application close date.


3.) I want to be a doctor, nurse, veterinarian, ophthalmologist, physical therapist, etc. Can I still apply for the programs?

Undergraduate summer programs are open to all students from all majors and backgrounds who display an interest in biomedical research.

Also, if you are interested in being a doctor, nurse, veterinarian, ophthalmologist, physical therapist, etc., you might want to spend your summers in programs that are catered more toward your career path.

Visit the Division for Health Sciences Diversity website, where there are programs geared toward health careers.


4.) When does the program start?

Most programs start the first week of June, with the exception of PREP, IMSD-Ph.D., and IRACDA. PREP and IMSD-Ph.D. begin on July 1 and IRACDA begins on August 1.


5.) What is the duration of the program?

The summer programs run for 10 weeks from the start date.

The IMSD Undergraduate Scholars program is three years long and provides support for trainees in the first two years of Ph.D. training.

The IRACDA program provides three years of research and pedagogic training for postdoctoral students.

PREP is a one year program, with the possibility of extending to a second year.


6.) Is housing available for the summer programs?

Housing is available to undergraduates and graduates for a fee. 

In addition, off-campus housing is available. Please contact Off-Campus Student Services for more information.


7.) How much is the stipend?

Because programs vary, please contact for salary/stipend rates. Be sure to ask about any information that must be provided before payment is initiated through the program.  All paperwork must be submitted on schedule before payment is made.


8.) What is the dress code?

Though most laboratories require closed-toe shoes, each laboratory has different dress requirements. Mentors can provide information regarding dress requirements, equipment that may be necessary in the course of the program, and tutorials or readings that may need to be completed prior to starting in the lab.


9.) How will I get a research training mentor?

Applicants accepted into the program will receive a request for research and/or mentor interests. Please submit this information as soon as possible so that a mentor can be assigned.

Remember: the research training staff does everything possible to match students with laboratories and mentors with similar interests. This is not always possible, especially during the summer months, as many researchers spend this time traveling and attending conferences or do not have space in their laboratories. If the laboratory research does not match a student's interests exactly, it is important to remember that the program provides critical experience in a research setting. Many laboratory skills are transferable. And by spending time learning what it is like to do research and to network with VCU faculty, students may find themselves being recruited to work in a laboratory setting that is more suited to their personal and professional interests.


10.) I just received my acceptance letter, now what?

Congratulations! Please fill out the letter's attached paperwork and return to Mary Bramley at with your decision to accept or decline.


11.) I just found out who my mentor is, now what?

Congratulations! Contact your mentor as soon as possible. The laboratory might require special certifications, additional paperwork, a specific dress code or a set of regulations that you need to know before starting.