Since 2013, the aim of the Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) is to provide academic training at UConn to underrepresented minority students who are dedicated to pursuing careers as scientists and scholars in biological and biomedical science with the intent of developing the next generation of innovative biomedical scientists and increasing diversity among the pool of academic scientists. The program provides tools for scholars to conduct research, succeed in an academic environment, and become competitive candidates for medical or graduate school. Scholarships will be available to scholars accepted into the program.
YIIP is a one to two year, full-time program for college graduates prepared to complete graduate level coursework and conduct supervised research in biomedical laboratories on the UConn Health campus. The program provides individualized mentorship, academic support, and career guidance. In the first year, the curriculum consists of a minimum of 6 course credits per semester. YIIP Scholars earn a stipend through their employment as UConn Graduate Assistants. In addition, the tuition expense associated with required graduate level courses is waived for YIIP Scholars.
This is NOT a post-baccalaureate program. The applicant must be prepared to complete graduate level scientific coursework. Upon successful completion of graduate courses and research, a scholar will obtain a Graduate Certificate of Research Experience in Biomedical Science from UConn. In year two, scholars who meet the academic qualifications and successfully complete the first year may have the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Biomedical Science. By successfully fulfilling the program requirements, YIIP Scholars will acquire the expertise necessary to enter a M.D., M.D.-Ph.D. or Ph.D. program.
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 M.D., M.D.-Ph.D. or Ph.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.
- Preference will be given to those traditionally underrepresented in medicine and science. More information available here.
- Complete an online application to the UConn Graduate School.
- Provide two letters of recommendation, at least one from a science instructor. The letters of recommendation should be obtained from individuals with whom you are well acquainted and whose stature as well as expertise enable them to comment in detail on your academic preparedness related to your career aspirations.
- Submit official score reports for all that apply: SAT (or equivalent), ACT, and MCAT or GRE if already taken. We require reports of all previous standardized tests taken to be submitted with application.
- Submit a personal statement within the online application following the directions given on the Connecticut Convergence Institute website. Applicants should describe their background, talents, motivations and other factors that have shaped their career goals in medicine or science.
- Submit an essay within the online application per instructions provided on the Connecticut Convergence Institute website. The essay should demonstrate your interest, particularly previous research experience or exposure, in pursuing careers as scientists and/or scholars in the biological and biomedical sciences. Include a statement of how this program will assist you in achieving your career goals.
- Applicants must also submit an essay containing a five-year future plan that clearly outlines the applicant’s intentions related to academic pursuits and career goals. It should include details on how the applicant will succeed in reaching the stated career goals.
Applications have closed.
Applicants to the Young Innovative Investigator Program must apply online for admission to the Graduate Certificate of Research Experience in Biomedical Science program at UConn Graduate School and should follow the application guidelines and requirements outlined in detailed below. An online application can be found on the UConn Graduate School website. In order to qualify for the $75 application fee waiver, immediately contact email@example.com when you begin your online application. Please use the subject line YIIP Application Waiver.
Application Process – Step-by-Step
The application deadline was May 11, 2018. We are no longer accepting applications.
- Create a user account for the Graduate School online application.
- When selecting the field of study in the Enrollment section, follow these prompts:
- Admission requested for: Fall 2018
- Field of study and degree: Research Experience in Biomedical Science (Grad Certificate)
- Concentration: None (Note* the campus field will not populate with the campus options until a valid concentration is entered. “None” is a valid concentration.)
- Campus of intended registration: Farmington
- Assemble your application materials for the Graduate School
- Upload digital copies of official transcripts for all collegiate work to date; These must be official copies of your transcripts, but they do not need to be uploaded directly from the registrar of the institutions attended.
- Residence Affidavit
- Upload official score reports for all of the following tests taken: SAT (or equivalent), ACT, and/or MCAT or GRE. NOTE: MCAT and/or GRE exams are not required to apply to this program. The MCAT and GRE scores are required to be submitted only if you have already taken these exams.
- Personal Statement – Write a one-page essay describing your background, talents, motivations and other factors that have shaped your career goals in medicine or science. (Not to exceed one page, single spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins, no attachments)
- Upload the following two essays:
1. Research Experience Essay – Write a one-page essay demonstrating your interest, particularly previous research experience or exposure, in pursuing careers as scientists and/or scholars in the biological and biomedical sciences. Include a statement of how this program will assist you in achieving your career goals. (Not to exceed one page, single spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins, no attachments). UPLOAD the Research Experience Essay into the online application in the “Upload All Documents Here” section under “Upload Writing Sample/Research Essay”.
2. Five Year Future Plan Essay – Write a one-page essay containing a five-year future plan that clearly outlines the applicant’s intentions related to academic pursuits and career goals. Include details on how the applicant will succeed in reaching the stated career goals. (Not to exceed one page, single spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins, no attachments). UPLOAD the Five Year Future Plan Essay into the online application in the “Upload All Documents Here” section under “Miscellaneous Document Upload”.
- Letters of Recommendation – Provide two letters of recommendation. At least on letter of recommendation must be from a science instructor.
- How the online recommendation process works:
- Click the “Recommendation Provider List” button.
- Insert the name and contact information of each recommendation provider.
- The recommendation provider must select “Research Experience in Biomedical Science (Grad Certificate)” from the program drop-down list.
- Once the recommendation provider information is saved, an email will be sent to the online recommendation provider with an access code and instructions on how to proceed with the online recommendation.
- When the recommendation provider submits the form to our office it will become a part of your application.
- You can view the status of your online recommendations each time you log into your application account, but you will not have access to the recommendation itself.
- Upload OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS of all collegiate work completed to date following the online instructions. IMPORTANT: You must also send the Graduate School your Official Transcript(s) in one envelope to the University of Connecticut, Whetten Graduate Center, 438 Whitney Road Ext., Unit 1152, Storrs, CT 06269-1152. Your application is not considered to be complete until these official transcripts are received by UConn.
- The Admissions Committee will review only completed applications and support materials received by the deadline of May 11, 2018.
For more information please contact YIIP program coordinator Lana Angelo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current YIIP Scholars
University of Connecticut
Graduate Lab/Research: Skeletal Biology and Regeneration
Southern Connecticut State University Graduate
Lab/Research: Molecular Biology and Genetics
Brown University Graduate
Lab/Research: Cell Biology, Vascular Biology
Spelman College Graduate
Lab/Research: Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Mount Holyoke College Graduate
Lab/Research: Molecular Oncology
Xavier University Of Louisiana Graduate
Lab/Research: Molecular Medicine, Endocrinology
Former YIIP Scholars
- Aundrya Montgomery, Alabama State University , B.S., Biology/Pre-Health
- Shania Aponte-Paris, Universidad Adventista de los Antilles, B.S., Biology
- Aaliyah Riccardi, University of Connecticut, B.S., Biology
- Archibald Agyekum-Yamoah, University of Ghana, B.S., Biology Southern Connecticut State University, B.S., Biochemistry, Mathematics minor
- Melissa Carr-Reynolds, Spelman College, B.S., Biology
- Nilse Dos Santos, University of Rhode Island, B.S., Biological Science
- La Shondra Ellis, Oakwood College, B.S., Biology
- Trisha Kwarko, University of Connecticut, B.S., Allied Health Sciences
- Sandra Lopez, University of Connecticut, B.S., Biological Sciences
- Akilah Plair, Southern Connecticut State University, B.S., Biochemistry