About the Program


The number of native-born S&E graduates entering the workforce is likely to decline unless the Nation intervenes to improve success in educating S&E students from all demographic groups, especially those that have been underrepresented in S&E careers.

“The Science and Engineering Workforce: Realizing America’s Potential” National Science Board (NSB) 2003

America’s competitive edge in science hinges on a broad, diverse workforce trained in research and scientific excellence. Increasing the participation of historically underrepresented groups is an essential part of this endeavor.

With funding provided by the UC Office of the President UC-HBCU Initiative, the UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman Physics Bridge program supports up to 5 students per year from Morehouse and Spelman Colleges to participate in cutting-edge Physics research at UC San Diego, receive training in research skills, and participate in workshops on graduate school admissions and preparation. In addition, all participants will receive two years of graduate funding if they are accepted into any UC graduate program.

Research Program

During the 8-week summer program, students will work with individual faculty mentors at UCSD on research in physics, including subfields of astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter/materials physics, high energy physics and plasma physics.  Students will be paired with individual faculty mentors most closely aligned to their research interests.

Leading up to the summer, mentors will provide scientific background materials and basic tool training for their research projects. At UCSD, students will be integrated into the mentor’s research labs and groups, providing the opportunity to experience a broad range of physics research.

Students will present their work at the annual UCSD Summer Undergraduate Research Conference and receive support to present at a national conference (AAS, APS, NSBP, SACNAS).

Graduate preparation

Students will participate in the Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) program, which organizes a number of workshops and courses to prepare students for graduate admissions and research:

  • General GRE bootcamp
  • Workshops on graduate admissions, research and work/life balance
  • Training and individual feedback for applications to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
  • Feedback on graduate admissions personal statement
  • Individual meetings with UCSD Graduate Admissions faculty and staff

In addition, each student is assigned a graduate mentor who provides insight into graduate life, facilitates workshop activities, mentors the student at UCSD, and serves as an advocate for the student on campus.

Exchange program

Students participating in the program are encouraged to extend their stay through the UCSD-Morehouse/Spelman Exchange program. Through a tuition-transfer agreement, students may take classes at UCSD in the Fall semester or for a full year, and continue their research activities.


  • $4000 summer research stipend and free accommodations on campus during the program
  • Up to $600 in travel reimbursement to/from UCSD
  • Support for presenting research at a national conference (AAS, APS, NSBP, SACNAS)
  • Two full years of graduate support (tuition and stipend) for all program participants who are accepted to any UC graduate program

How to apply

1. Let your department chairs know of your interest:

Prof. Willie Rockward: Willie.Rockward@morehouse.edu

Prof. Natarajan Ravi: nravi@spelman.edu

2. Visit http://goo.gl/forms/D1PhHz3PkA and complete the on-line form by Friday November 21, 2014 at 5pm

3. Be sure to provide contact information from two (2) faculty or research supervisors.

Students will be selected and notified by December 1st, 2014.


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