Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development program (IMSD) at UC San Diego was established in 2008 and is funded by the National Institutes of Health General Medical Sciences. The IMSD mission is to motivate, train and mentor students from minority groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, students from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds, and students with disabilities to become future scientists.

Latin America-UC San Diego Science Connect

Latin America-UC San Diego Science Connect is an exchange program that aims to foster scientific collaborations by matching MS and PhD students from Latin and South America with faculty sponsors at UC San Diego for 3-month (minimum) research experiences. Science Connect participants enjoy the unique opportunity to live, work, and share in the cultural diversity of a new country while, in turn, sharing their own knowledge and experiences with their hosts.

Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

Many students who are interested in enrolling into a Ph.D. program are not accepted because of various deficiencies in their portfolio, including lack of research experience, low GPA or GRE scores, and weak recommendation letters. If these students are not assisted, it is very likely that they will abandon their dreams of pursuing a Ph.D. degree. PREP is a program developed to assist students who have received their undergraduate degrees and are interested in graduate school, but lack enough research experience or other criteria to qualify for acceptance into most programs. PREP provides research mentorships and academic support to increase these students’ opportunities and chances of succeeding in graduate school.


ScienceBridge was established in 2007 on the campus of UC San Diego with the goal of connecting local research scientists with science classrooms around the county. With funding from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, as well as local companies, ScienceBridge has made a significant and long-lasting impact on the community by building a foundation of innovative ideas, strong collaborators, and dedicated staff. ScienceBridge's fully integrated outreach program includes an innovative teacher professional development model, a sustainable laboratory kit production effort, and a highly successful graduate student training program.

Tribally-directed Research Partnership Program (TRPP)

TRPP develops and facilitates meaningful research and project partnerships between the American Indian communities in the San Diego region and researchers, organized research units, departments, and programs at UCSD. Before TRPP, UCSD did not have a program or process to expose campus researchers to the interests and issues that local American Indian tribes are working on or considering, and tribal officials and members had little to no access to the academic, scholarly, and research material and expertise developed by UCSD faculty and students. The Tribal Research Partnership Program focuses on opportunities created by tribes and their members by connecting research faculty and graduate students from throughout the UCSD campus and Medical School with tribal officials, program directors, and staff who are building the present and planning for the future of their nation.

UCSD-Morehouse Summer Research Program

The UCSD-Morehouse Summer Research Program was established in 2012 to encourage a long-term relationship between UCSD and Morehouse College. Students in the program receive basic training in fundamental techniques in biomedical sciences that allow them to be successful in future mentor-directed bench research. In addition, students with more research experience are given the opportunity to participate in a short research project under the supervision of a successful UCSD scientist. Students are also mentored in science ethics, developmental programs, and preparation for GRE/MCAT exams.