Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to be a Bridges Scholar? 

The Bridges Scholars Program will recruit from students from Gaston College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College who aspire to a career in the biomedical sciences. Recruitment of students will include a focus on increasing the numbers of students from underrepresented groups in STEM into the biological and biomedical sciences majors. These would consist of underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, women, people with disabilities, and those from rural areas with low incomes.  

What is the benefit of the Junior Scholars Program at the community colleges?

Scholars take STEM courses to their AA or AS degree. They receive stipends for participation in lab research projects at the CC, attend regional and national conferences, receive individualized advising, assistance with the transfer to UNC Charlotte, attend professional development meetings and workshops at UNC Charlotte.

What is the benefit of the Senior Scholars Program at UNC Charlotte?

Scholars major in biomedical departments to earn their BA or BS degree. They receive stipends for participation in summer lab research experiences, attend regional and national conferences, receive individualized advising, attend professional development meetings and workshops at UNC Charlotte, receive career counseling.

Do Scholars get to choose lab projects they work on?

Absolutely Yes. A large number of UNC Charlotte Faculty are engaged in biomedical research and are committed to mentorship and training of Bridges Scholars. Potential faculty mentors are appointed across disciplines in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Public Health, Health Informatics, and Bioengineering. Scholars will work with Dr. Richardson to identify area of interest and faculty to work with. 

Research sounds time consuming and intimidating. How will I be able to do it all?

Scholars can start paid internships at UNC Charlotte during the summer when they have more time. Scholars are not expected to have any special knowledge and are taught individually in lab projects while getting paid. Scholars can continue research with mentors during the academic year for credit. Scholars can choose the time commitment by electing 1,2, or 3 credit hours a semester. Many students find this experience fulfilling. Each Scholar will work with individual advisor and may elect to not participate in research at any time at their discretion.

How will being a Scholar help me get a job in the biomedical field?

Having research experience is a significant advantage to a graduating senior. Employers and medical/graduate schools give priority to applicants who have previous research experience and can talk about how research has “real world” implications. To ensure that Scholars are best prepared for the workforce, the Program will include:

  • Networking events where Scholars will meet one on one with local regional and national professionals in multiple biomedical disciplines.
  • Presentations and advising on how to write a resume and interview effectively, and identify potential employers and graduate programs.
  • Attendance to scientific meetings where Scholars will have the opportunity to meet employers and program directors.

Where does the funding come from for this initiative?

The research is supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25GM128571.