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

The VCU Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (VCU IMSD)-Undergraduate program has been in effect since 2010 to provide training and increase UR scholars in the biomedical enterprise. To date, 55 undergraduates scholars  have been supported through the VCU IMSD program. In the past funding cycle, 60% of the undergraduates scholars  have entered PhD programs at various institutions nationally. You can learn more about the VCU IMSD-Undergraduate Program here.



Hamid I. Akbarali, PhD: Co-Director, VCU IMSD

Joyce A. Lloyd, PhD: Co-Director, VCU IMSD

Sarah Golding, PhD: Director, VCU IMSD Undergraduate Programming

Mychal Smith, PhD: Director, VCU IMSD Graduate Programming