The VCU IMSD Undergraduate program is undergoing some structural changes. Please check back for the updated information regarding the 2023 application cycle in February 2023.

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Scholars Program

The VCU Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Scholars Program (IMSD) provides research training in the biomedical sciences for individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research. IMSD Scholars are admitted as early as the end of the freshman year and are involved in program activities through their senior year. The cornerstone of the program is a series of mentored research experiences with VCU faculty members who are leaders in the fields of neuroscience, cancer biology, metabolic diseases, allergy and immunology, microbial pathogenesis, drug addiction or abuse, molecular genetics and others. IMSD Scholars have the opportunity to present their work at local, regional and national research meetings. In addition, IMSD Scholars enroll in a series of courses and workshops that provide instruction in basic concepts in biomedical research, preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and career development advice. 

IMSD Scholars are paid a salary during the research experience.



Eligible applicants must be VCU undergraduate students and must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or non-citizen nationals. Proof of citizenship status or resident status will be required before the start of the program.


Application process

Students should apply using the online application by March 25, 2022 and will need to complete a personal statement, provide two letters of recommendation from faculty members, and submit official transcripts from all universities previously attended and unofficial transcripts from VCU. 

For more information, please contact





Detailed information about the IMSD program