Applications for 2020 Preview Weekend will open April 2020

Preview Weekend


Priority Deadline: TBD

Final Deadline: TBD


What is the BBSP Preview Weekend? The preview weekend is a unique opportunity for competitive applicants from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences to learn more about BBSP and the 14 affiliated biomedical PhD programs at UNC. Participants will receive individual guidance on crafting competitive graduate school applications. Additionally, participants will meet faculty and current PhD students to learn more about the research opportunities and diverse community at UNC. We hope attendance at the preview weekend will help applicants learn about BBSP,  UNC IMSD, and solidify the decision to apply for admission. If you are wondering whether UNC is a good fit for you, we encourage you to consider our preview weekend.

Why UNC and BBSP?
UNC offers a highly collaborative research environment, and our students receive outstanding doctoral and career training. UNC is 1 of only 17 institutions awarded an NIH training grant (BEST award) to provide students exposure to various career options.  Diverse Issues in Higher Education recently (December 2018) ranked UNC Chapel Hill 1st nationally for PhD completion by African-American scholars in the biological and biomedical sciences and 5th nationally for total minority PhD completion in the biological and biomedical sciences. Additionally, the BBSP provides students access to nearly 400 faculty affiliated with 14 PhD programs in the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, Dentistry, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Our vibrant and diverse research community is an outstanding place to launch your research career, and Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas are a great place to live.

Who Should Apply?
This program is open to undergraduate seniors, postbacs, and others who plan to apply to BBSP in November 2020.  Members of groups historically underrepresented and underserved in the biomedical sciences at the graduate level are strongly encouraged to apply.  These groups include individuals with disabilities, from Hispanic/Latinx backgrounds, Black/African Americans, American Indians/Native Americans, Alaska Native, and natives of Hawaii or Pacific Islanders.

Cost of Attendance
All visit expenses including travel, lodging, and meals will be covered by UNC.

Application Process
Interested students must complete an online application and submit the required materials. Space is limited, so applications must be completed by the deadline. As we are unable to accept any late materials, please make sure that all of your application materials (including reference letters) are submitted prior to the deadline. Required materials include: reference letters from two individuals who can describe your research achievements for potential success in graduate school, unofficial transcript(s), and an essay.

Application Instructions -Click HERE to access the application.

Only online applications are accepted. You cannot save an incomplete application, so it is essential that you have all application materials ready before starting your application. Please note that all uploaded documents must be submitted in the form of a PDF or they cannot be accepted. When completing the online application, please have the following materials available

  1. An essay that includes the following:
    • Statement of your career goals and why you wish to attain a PhD
    • Short synopsis of each of your research experiences (3-5 sentences for each synopsis)
    • Explanation of how the BBSP is a good fit for you and why you want to attend the BBSP Preview Weekend
    • The essay must be saved as a PDF and should be no longer than one page
      • Please name your file using the following format:  YourLastName_YourFirstname_Essay.PDF. For example, if your name is Jane Doe your file name would be Doe_Jane_Essay.pdf.  Files MUST follow this naming convention
  2. Name, title, institution/employer, email address, and phone number of two individuals who can describe your potential for success in graduate school. If possible, letters from past or current research mentors/supervisors are STRONGLY preferred. REMINDERS FOR MISSING LETTERS WILL NOT BE SENT. Please share the information below with those who are submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf:
    • The most effective references come from faculty with whom you have conducted independent/original research. Letters jointly written by faculty with experienced lab members (e.g. postdoctoral scientists, staff, senior graduate students) are welcome, however letters from lab members without faculty endorsement have much less impact.
    • The review committee greatly values letters that specifically describe qualities such as motivation, work ethic, resilience, persistence, initiative, intellectual contribution, and collegiality in research and academic settings.
    • Once you submit your application, your two letter writers will receive an email with a link to upload their letter of recommendation. Please note that they will not receive this link until you submit your completed application.
  1. Your current cumulative GPA.
  2. An electronic copy of your transcript(s) (unofficial is fine) to upload.
    • Please name your file using the following format:  YourLastName_YourFirstname_Transcript.PDF. For example, if your name is Jane Doe your file name would be Doe_Jane_Transcript.pdf.  Files MUST follow this naming convention.
  3. A list of UNC faculty doing research you are interested in. You can search UNC biomedical research faculty here. 

If you have additional questions, please contact

No late applications will be accepted. Review of applications will begin in mid-JULY, so get your applications in early!

BBSP Preview Weekend Schedule of Events

Preview Weekend attendees are expected to participate in all scheduled events.

Thursday Friday       Saturday
  • Afternoon/evening arrival
  • Welcome dinner
  • Grad School Interview demonstrations
  • Application review circuit (CV, SOP, transcripts), BBSP Q&A, Lab Tours
  • Lunch with faculty
  • Mock interviews with faculty
  • Overview of UNC/BBSP support programs
  • Dinner with grad students
  • Breakfast
  • Campus tour, visit Student Stores, and lunch with grad students
  • Afternoon departure