Application Process and Requirements
Submission Deadline: Currently not accepting applications
Applicants to the Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) must apply online to the UConn Graduate School
The Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) is a program of the Connecticut Convergence Institute which aims to develop the next generation of innovative scientists by providing academic training to individuals dedicated to pursuing careers as scientists and scholars in biological and biomedical science. The program is specifically focused on recruiting underrepresented students to contribute towards developing a sustainable pipeline to increase diversity among the pool of academic scientists. YIIP provides tools for scholars to conduct research, succeed in an academic environment, and become competitive candidates for medical school or graduate school. YIIP Scholars will acquire the expertise necessary to obtain a Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., or M.D.
YIIP is a one to two year full-time program for college graduates comprised of graduate level coursework and supervised research in biomedical laboratories on the UConn Health campus. This is not a post-baccalaureate program, but individualized mentorship, academic support, and career guidance are all provided. YIIP Scholars are employed as Graduate Assistants who earn a stipend and also qualify for health insurance coverage. In addition, the tuition expense and fees associated with required graduate level courses are waived. Upon successful completion of year one, scholars obtain a Graduate Certificate of Research Experience in Biomedical Science. In year two, scholars who meet the academic qualifications and successfully complete their first year may have the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Biomedical Science.
The selection committee is committed to the principle of equity and seeks a diverse group of candidates including individuals from underrepresented groups. Consideration will be given to those applicants traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences.
All applicants must:
- Have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum of an overall 3.0 GPA.
- Demonstrate high motivation and potential to become a basic scientist with a goal of attaining a Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D., or M.D.
- Meet all eligibility criteria and have a high probability of fulfilling the social and educational goals of this program.
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
All YIIP Scholars are provided a team of mentors to guide them through their research and graduate education experience. Each scholar’s Lab Mentor (PI) will coordinate their efforts with their graduate student’s M1 Mentor. Additional mentors include faculty members from within and outside their department, graduate school leadership, and diversity team members.
All YIIP Scholars are required to attend bi-weekly seminars presented by UConn faculty members. Seminar topics include: Biostatistics and Data Analytics, Community Engagement, Covid-19 and Effects on the Conduct of Science, CV and Personal Statement, Health Justice and Diversity in Medical School Admissions, Mentor/Mentee Relationship, Preparing for Medical and Graduate School, Presenting at Scientific Conferences, Publishing in Academic Journals, Reading Scientific Literature, Research Ethics and the Role of the Institutional Review Board, Scientific Writing, and Translational Research.
Current YIIP Scholars
MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE CANDIDATES (YEAR 2)
GRADUATE CERTIFICATE CANDIDATES (YEAR 1)
Former YIIP Scholars
- Archibald Agyekum-Yamoah, MD, MS: University of Ghana, B.S., Biology; Southern Connecticut State University, B.S., Biochemistry and Mathematics; University of Pittsburgh College of Medicine
- Shania Aponte-Paris, MS: Universidad Adventista de los Antilles, B.S., Biology; Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine
- Melissa Carr-Reynolds, MS: Spelman College, B.S., Biology
- Kai Clarke, MS: Florida Institute of Technology B.S., Biomedical Engineering; UConn Graduate School, Biomedical Science
- Morgan Dawkins: University of Arkansas, B.S., Biomedical Engineering
- Nilse Dos Santos, MD, MS: University of Rhode Island, B.S., Biological Sciences; Penn State College of Medicine
- La Shondra Ellis, MS: Oakwood College, B.S., Biology
- John Garcia, MS, MPH: University of Connecticut, B.S., Biological Sciences; Quinnipiac School of Medicine
- Joshua Green: Southern Connecticut State University, B.S., Biochemistry; Temple School of Podiatric Medicine
- Tebyan Khalfalla: University of Connecticut, B.S., Physiology & Neurobiology; University of Rochester School of Medicine
- Trisha Kwarko, MD, MS: University of Connecticut, B.S., Allied Health Sciences; UConn School of Medicine
- Anisha Lewis, MD: Brown University, B.A., Public Health; UConn School of Medicine
- Sandra Lopez, DMD, MS: University of Connecticut, B.S., Biological Sciences; Rutgers School of Dental Medicine
- Luis Loza-Rojas: University of Connecticut, B.S., Chemical Engineering
- Aundrya Montgomery, MS: Alabama State University, B.S., Biology/Pre-Health
- David Onwuka, MS: University of Connecticut B.S., Molecular & Cell Biology; Tufts Medical School
- Mylan Panteah, MD: New Mexico State University, B.S., Biology; University of North Dakota School of Medicine
- Jaliyah Peterson, MS: Spelman College, B.S., Molecular Biology and Biophysics
- Akilah Plair, ND, MS: Southern Connecticut State University, B.S., Biochemistry; University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine
- Kaussar Rahman, MS: Mount Holyoke College, B.S., Biology
- Aaliyah Riccardi, MD: University of Connecticut, B.S., Biology; University of Connecticut School of Medicine
- Savannah Samuel: Xavier University of Louisiana, B.S., Chemistry
- Christina Valera, MS: University of Connecticut B.S., Physiology & Neurobiology