UMass Boston


What is the goal of IMSD?

The IMSD program aims to increase the diversity of individuals pursuing biomedical research careers.

What do we mean by biomedical sciences?

Biomedical science is any field of science that pertains to human health. Thus, majors in the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, environmental science, and the BS program in psychology all qualify.

What does IMSD provide?

Formally accepted IMSD Scholars are provided up to two years of funding for training in a research laboratory, individualized mentorship, networking opportunities, support to present and attend local and national conferences, a tuition credit, and a research community of peers to help you succeed getting into PhD programs.

What do you need to be eligible?

  • You would like to learn more about research careers in the sciences
  • You can demonstrate a strong interest and ability in science
  • You are a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident enrolled as a full-time undergraduate at UMass Boston
  • You are enrolled as full-time undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts Boston for at least the next 12 months with minimum 3.0 GPA

What if I'm not sure what I want to do after graduation?

You don't have to know for sure. The program will provide a supportive, positive exposure to research to help you crystallize your plans.

Does participation in IMSD make it hard to get my schoolwork or outside work done?

Just the opposite. The IMSD program provides many resources to help you excel in your schoolwork. Furthermore, the hourly wages and tuition credit help to relieve your financial burden.

I'm already in a lab, can I still become an IMSD Scholar?

Yes! Students may apply whether or not they are already in a lab. If you are already in a lab, IMSD can fund your research there; if you are not yet in a lab, IMSD will find a placement that's right for you!

What if I'm not eligible to formally apply or I want to learn more before I decide to apply?

All interested students are welcome to participate in IMSD events and activities. IMSD meets every Friday afternoon to discuss research career related topics and build our scientific community. Students can participate in many different ways:

  • Become a "Friend of IMSD". Be on the IMSD announcements list, participate in IMSD events and interact with our community.
  • Apply to IMSD and be accepted as a "Scholar in Training" (SiT). A "SiT" is a non-funded position that we may offer to freshmen & sophomore students with the intention of accepting as a Jr Scholar when they are within 2 years of graduation.
  • Apply to IMSD and be formally accepted as a Junior Scholar.
  • Apply to IMSD and be formally accepted as a Senior Scholar.

What can I expect to do as a Jr Scholar in the IMSD program?

As a Jr Scholar of the IMSD program, you will become part of a community of students and faculty. During each semester, you will attend seminars, meet seminar speakers, and participate in career development workshops and networking events. You will also have the opportunity to visit, select, or become affiliated with a research laboratory.

How do I get promoted to become a Senior Scholar?

As you advance in research and academic work toward your senior year, you will be considered for promotion to become an IMSD Senior Scholar. To be promoted to the Senior Scholar level, you will need to have at least a 3.0 GPA in your major and satisfactorily participate in IMSD activities.

What can I expect to do as a Senior Scholar in the IMSD program?

As a Senior Scholar of the IMSD program, you will attend weekly meetings with other IMSD students where you will discuss a range of topics that pertain to research careers. Topics may include: Responsible Conduct of Research, Journal Clubs (where you will read research papers from the scientific literature as well as the research of your fellow IMSD students), Social Issues in Science, and Giving Scientific Presentations. During each semester, you will attend seminars, meet seminar speakers, and participate in career development workshops and networking events. You will have the opportunity to work closely with a  faculty member and other students in their research laboratory while gaining valuable research skills and experience of your own. These research opportunities may occur either here at UMass Boston or other academic laboratories in the local area.

What if I don't know two faculty in the sciences to write me good recommendations?

If you are a younger student or a recent transfer, or don't have close references for other reasons, especially in this period of the pandemic, we encourage you to complete all other parts of the application and be in communication with the program manager about who might serve as a good reference. Once all parts of your application are complete, the program team can help you navigate ways to continue participating in IMSD.

What happens after I complete an application?

Once applications are complete, the program manager completes an initial review of an application with the program co-directors. After the initial review, students will receive an email from the program manager detailing any decisions or next steps to take in the review process, such as an interview or providing us further information. 

I need research experience, but plan to go to medical school, should I apply?

Pre-med students are welcome to participate as Friends of IMSD, but IMSD cannot fund or provide research opportunities for students who plan to go to medical school. 

I am looking for other resources to help my scientific interests grow, can IMSD help me with that?

Attending IMSD Meetings are a great way to become familiar with science careers, and students can attend any events listed on the IMSD Semester Schedule. IMSD also provides continually updated lists of research career-related resources, listings of summer and postbac programs on our Resources Page.

How do I Apply?

Contact or apply directly online. In addition to uploading a statement of purpose, transcript and resume, you will ask two faculty in the sciences to serve as your references. Applications are accepted year-round.You can create an account and apply online at anytime.