Dream-to-Goal Summer Research Program

VCU Bridges to the Baccalaureate

The Dream-to-Goal Summer Research Program (DTG) is designed for motivated community college students from underrepresented groups interested in exploring research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The DTG Summer Research Program is open to students at Brightpoint Community College and Virginia Peninsula Community College only.

The program will equip you with hands-on laboratory skills, provide research experience, and prepare you for success when you transfer to a four-year college or university — and beyond. This program is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Through this hands-on scientific research apprenticeship, you will:

  • Learn about the process of research: how to analyze data and present your findings
  • Work with research faculty on a daily basis and conduct research in VCU laboratories
  • Receive one-on-one academic advising and attend workshops on academic success, financial aid, and career development.
  • Attend seminars on biomedical and behavioral research
  • Present your research at a national scientific conference
  • Live, work, and play with people who share your interests
  • And, get paid!

Program Schedule

As a DTG scholar, you will live and work on the VCU campus for two consecutive summers.

Year 1: Biology Boot Camp and Research Internship (8 weeks)

The summer begins with a 3-week biology boot camp. You will develop laboratory, quantitative, and critical-thinking skills and learn to think and work like a scientist.

For the following 5 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 about responsible conduct in research and how to analyze and present your research findings. Also, you will receive one-on-one academic advising and attend seminars on academic success, financial aid, and career development.

Year 2: Mentored Research Experience (8-10 weeks)

When you return for the second summer, you will conduct an independent research project under the mentorship of a VCU scientist, receive one-on-one academic advice and career counseling, and attend research seminars. As a Year-2 DTG Scholar, you will serve as a peer mentor for Year-1 DTG scholars. The following fall, you will present a poster on your research at a national scientific conference with other DTG scholars. All expenses will be paid.

The summer program for both Year-1 and Year-2 Scholars concludes with a closing ceremony and research symposium where you will present a poster on your research. Family and friends are invited.

2023 Summer Program

May 22nd - July 14th

Year-2 Scholars have the option of a 2-week extension (end date = July 28)