Dream-to-Goal Summer Research Program

Bridges to the Baccalaureate

A program designed for motivated community college students who are interested in exploring research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences

The program will equip you with hands-on laboratory skills, research experience, and prepare you for success when you're ready to transfer to a four-year college or university — and beyond. While you participate, you'll also receive a part-time wage.

Learning and Skill Outcomes

In your studies, you will:

  • Learn about the process of research: how to analyze data and present your findings
  • Attend seminars on biomedical and behavioral research, academic success and career development
  • Work with research faculty on a daily basis and conduct research in VCU laboratories
  • Present your research at the Virginia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting and at a national scientific conference
  • Live, work and play with people who share your interests

Program Schedule

As a DTG scholar, you will live on the VCU campus for eight weeks and then return for another eight-week session the following summer.

Summer Session 1: Biology Boot Camp and Research Internship

The summer begins with a three-week biology boot camp. You will develop laboratory, quantitative and critical-thinking skills, and learn how to think and work like a scientist.

For the following five weeks, you will apply what you learned in the boot camp and work as an intern in a biomedical or behavioral research laboratory. You will learn how to analyze and present your research findings.

The following May, you will attend the Virginia Academy of Science annual meeting. There will be additional activities throughout the academic year.

Summer Session 2: Mentored Research Experience and Career Counseling

When you return in the next session, you will work on your own mentored research project with a VCU scientist, receive one-on-one academic advice and career counseling, and attend research seminars. You also will serve as peer mentors to first-year DTG scholars.

The summer culminates with a poster session and closing ceremony.

The following fall, you will present a poster on your research at a national scientific conference with other DTG scholars. Financial support will be provided.

2023 Summer Program

Successful applicants should meet the NIH criteria of underrepresented in the Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences. A full definition can be accessed on the NIH website.

Applicants should also have completed BIOL 101 and 102 and MTH 161/162, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5.