VCU Honors College

Research Opportunities

Pipeline for Health Sciences Diversity

The VCU Health Sciences and Health Careers Pipeline offers several research programs to students from elementary school up through the post-baccalaureate level. All of the programs offered by Pipeline aim to:

  • Educate students about careers in the health sciences
  • Provide resources to strengthen skills in math, science, and verbal and written communication
  • Ensure informed decision-making while pursuing a health career

Health Educational Research Opportunities Program

The Health Educational Research Opportunities (HERO) program, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, provides 10-week summer research experiences for undergraduate and first-year medical or dental students. The goal of HERO is to increase the number of underrepresented health professionals and researchers nationwide, with the hope of promoting better health outcomes for individuals from groups that are typically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

Students have the opportunity to work with VCU faculty members on research projects that focus on diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung and blood, blood resources, and sleep disorders. Applications are submitted online and must include a personal statement, three letters of recommendation and an official transcript. Applications open mid-November and close in the middle of March. Students from racial and ethnic minorities, disadvantaged backgrounds, or with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Scholars Program

The VCU Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Scholars Program (IMSD) provides research training in the biomedical sciences for individuals from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research. IMSD students may be admitted as early as the end of their freshman year, and are involved in program activities through their senior year. Students participate in a series of mentored research experiences with VCU faculty members who are leaders in the fields of a variety of fields including neuroscience, cancer biology, metabolic diseases, allergy and immunology, microbial pathogenesis, drug addiction or abuse, and molecular genetics. IMSD scholars are paid a salary during the research experience.

Applications are submitted online and must include a personal statement, three letters of recommendation and an official transcript. The priority application deadline is in February.