Undergraduate Programs

The goal of the Center’s Undergraduate Research Program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce through early preparation for undergraduate students in STEM fields. Participants should be from diverse backgrounds and interested in ultimately pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree and a biomedical research career in academia or industry. Through our undergraduate programs, we aim to:

  • Make undergraduates aware of biomedical research 
  • To mentor their career development
  • Facilitate their recruitment into future postgraduate training programs in biomedical research at VCU and beyond


Program Components

EXPOSE - Undergraduate students to high-quality biomedical research

ELEVATE - Oral and written communication skills

ENGAGE - The wider VCU community in biomedical research and professional training


Current Undergraduate Research Training Opportunities

Since 2010, with generous funding from the National Institute of Health Training and Workforce Development Division the The VCU Center on Health Disparities has supported 110 undergraduates on their undergraduate research journeys at VCU. With personalized advising and mentoring 95% of our trainees have graduated with Bachelor's degree. To date, 40 students have entered highly competitive Ph.D. or MPH programs nationally at institutions including: Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Cornell, UNC Chapel Hill, Northwestern, and VCU.

You can learn more about the COHD Undergraduate Program here.


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Carlos Escalante, PhD: Co-Program Director

Stacey Wahl, PhD: Scientific Coordinator

Sarah Golding, PhD: Director, VCU IMSD Undergraduate Programming