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Virtual Preview Weekend

SEPTEMBER 16-18, 2021

Deadline: August 1, 2021

*** Due to COVID-19, we are hosting Fall 2021 Preview Weekend virtually. We look forward to your applications!***

What is the BBSP Preview Weekend? The preview weekend is a unique opportunity for competitive applicants from groups traditionally underrepresented and underserved in biomedical research to learn more about BBSP and the 15 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 2020) ranked UNC Chapel Hill 2nd nationally for PhD completion by African-American scholars in the biological and biomedical sciences and in the top 20 nationally for total minority PhD completion in the biological and biomedical sciences. Additionally, the BBSP provides students access to >300 faculty affiliated with 15 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, postbaccs, and others who plan to apply to BBSP in Fall 2021.  Members of groups historically underrepresented and underserved in the biomedical sciences at the graduate level are invited to apply.  These groups include individuals with disabilities, from Hispanic/Latinx backgrounds, Black/African Americans, American Indians/Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Natives of Hawaii or Pacific Islands.

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), CV, and an essay.

Application Instructions -Click HERE to access the application.

Only online applications are accepted. When completing the online application, please have the following materials available:

  1. An Interest Statement 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
  2. Your CV which details your educational and research experiences, and your outreach/extracurricular involvements. Be sure that each research experience listed includes the institution and lab/program where the research was performed, project topic/title, and dates (duration) of the research experience.
  3. 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.
  4. An electronic copy of your unofficial transcript(s) and cumulative GPA for each institution attended to upload.
  5. A list of UNC faculty conducting research that interests you. You can search UNC biomedical research faculty here. 

If you have additional questions, please contact

No late applications will be accepted, so get your applications in early!

BBSP Preview Weekend Schedule of Events

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

Thursday (late afternoon/evening) Friday (all day)       Saturday (morning)
  • Virtual Welcome
  • Grad School Interview demonstrations
  • Application review circuit (CV, SOP, transcripts), BBSP Q&A, Virtual Lab Tours
  • Mock interviews with faculty
  • Overview of UNC/BBSP support programs
  • Virtual social with current Grad Students