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The goals of the program are to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in innovative research at UNC Chapel Hill, develop professional skills as a scientist, and contribute to a scholarly community.  Research opportunities exist in areas such as molecular biology, cell biology, chemistry, genetics, cancer research, marine biology, and microbiology.  The program will run from May 23 – July 28, 2021 and includes required professional development seminars, journal clubs, and social events throughout the summer in conjunction with other summer research programs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this program is tentative and dependent upon UNC Chapel Hill policies for acceptance of undergraduate students into research labs for summer 2021. 


Research internships are awarded on a competitive basis to students who meet the following requirements:

1) Enrolled full-time at one of the following institutions: Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Pembroke

2) Current sophomore, junior, or senior majoring in a biological, biomedical or chemical science

3) A minimum grade-point average of 3.0

Previous research experience is not required. Underrepresented students are strongly encouraged to apply.

Students must be able to participate in the entire program (see dates above) including weekly professional development seminars, lab meetings, and poster session at the end of the summer.


Benefits –  $5000 stipend and on-campus housing accommodations will be provided.

How to apply – All materials MUST be RECEIVED on or before February 28, 2021 for consideration.

1)   Completed SPIRE_Undergraduate Summer Research 2021_application – submitted by student applicant directly to Dr. Rybarczyk ( (note: list of potential research mentors will be updated in January 2021).

2) Transcripts: Request your institution to submit a copy of your transcript directly to Dr. Rybarczyk (  Preference is given to students with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Unofficial transcripts are also acceptable for students to submit with their application materials.

3) Two Letters of Recommendation Request a science faculty instructor, an internship advisor, or other relevant individuals to send us a letter commenting on your motivation and potential for scientific research, academic abilities, motivation, focus, work ethic, and interest in a research career. Faculty must submit letters directly to Dr. Rybarczyk (email to

This program is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), Training, Diversity, and Workforce Development Division and funding from various administrative offices at UNC Chapel Hill.


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