UCLA Bruins-in-Genomics (B.I.G.) Undergraduate Research Summer Program now accepting applications !!!

UCLA Bruins-in-Genomics (B.I.G.) Undergraduate Research Summer Program


June 24 to August 16, 2024

The UCLA Bruins-In-Genomics (B.I.G.) Summer program is now accepting applications.

The B.I.G. Summer Research Program is an 8-week full-time immersion program for undergraduates interested in learning how to read and analyze genes and genomes. Through this program students will have the opportunity to experience graduate-level coursework, and learn the latest cutting-edge research, tools and methods used by leading scientists to solve real-world problems.


  • Two options: on campus and remote options offered.
  • Authentic Research Experience: B.I.G. Summer offers an authentic research experience in UCLA laboratories. Projects are designed and guided by mentoring faculty and their graduate student and postdoctoral trainees, and aim to produce real research results within 8 weeks (see Research Symposium).
  • Bioinformatics Workshops: the first two weeks of the BIG Summer program involves didactic training with hands-on workshops in next generation sequencing data analysis taught through the Institute for Quantitative & Computational Bioscience (QCBio) by postdoctoral fellows. The classes provide students with a concrete set of skills to ensure they have a valuable skill set to bring to their host lab. The Collaboratory workshops provide students with training in the Unix operating system and programming in Python and R.
  • Research SeminarsResearch lunch talks led by UCLA faculty explore in-depth application of skills. Held each Friday at noon, these events give students a chance to learn about the ways that research methods are used in the real world to solve real problems in science.
  • Journal Clubs: weekly journal clubs led by UCLA faculty mentors show how methods, data, and ideas translate in real time. Each meeting walks students through a peer-reviewed journal article.
  • Social Activities: B.I.G. Summer social activities promote networking with faculty. The program kicks off with a Welcome BBQ where UCLA faculty, postdocs, and grad students meet-and-greet B.I.G. Summer participants. The program provides suggestions on things to do/places to go on the weekend in Los Angeles. Each Friday afternoon, a different UCLA research lab hosts a Happy Hour gathering.
  • Professional Development: UCLA faculty mentors guide each student in creating an Individual Development Plan to identify goals. Partner program UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) shares strategies for enhancing success in applying to graduate school through professional development workshops. QCBio hosts an information session that provides information about relevant graduate degree programs at UCLA.
  • Research Symposium and Award Ceremony: B.I.G. Summer ends with a scientific poster session (or oral presentation for online participants) and award ceremony. Students present the culmination of their research projects to the UCLA community, receive feedback from faculty and other experienced scholars, and vie for one of several Best Poster AwardsSee 2023 B.I.G. Summer Poster Abstracts.
  • Continued Mentorship: After the summer ends, faculty mentors are encouraged to continue their relationships with their students, and students are encouraged to apply for conferences and graduate school. Students often continue to be engaged in their projects or in the PI’s other research. Many students contribute to manuscripts for publication. QCBio provides funding for students to present their research at national conferences.


  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or F-1 visa holder
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher


  • Is a rising sophomore, junior or senior
  • Has strong interest in quantitative and computational biology
  • Has some familiarity with at least one programming language (e.g. python, pearl, R, Java, MAT-LAB, C++, etc.);
  • Has taken bioinformatics or biostatistics courses
  • Is highly motivated and fully committed


  •  (federal and sta$4,800 stipendte taxes may apply)
  • On-campus housing and travel are covered by the program for non-local participants


  • Apply here: https://qcb.ucla.edu/big-summer/application/
  • A finalized application includes: a complete online application, one copy of UNOFFICIAL transcript, a document containing short responses to a set of 8 questions, one letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  • Rolling admissions: 1st application deadline for early review: JANUARY 3, 2024
  • Application process ends on March 1st, 2024


  • Applicants to the program are consistently very strong academically. The average GPA of the applicants is 3.6 each year of the program. Most of the applicants are majoring in biology, bioinformatics, computer science or related fields.
  • We typically receive 400-450 applications and aim to admit about 50 students using a rolling admission process. We encourage an early submission of applications.

UCLA BIG Summer Team

B.I.G. Summer: https://qcb.ucla.edu/big-summer/

QCBio: https://qcb.ucla.edu

By Malakia Silcott
Malakia Silcott Associate Director