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FAQs

Asked by Prospective BUILD Students

If your question is not answered below, you can contact the following individuals for more information:

 

Who can apply for BUILD?

If you are interested in a career and advanced degrees in health-related research and have at least one year (Fellows) or two years (Scholars) left before completing your undergraduate degree, you can apply for the CSULB BUILD program. Although all students, regardless of background are welcome, you are strongly encouraged to apply if you have any of the following characteristics:

  • You are from a traditionally underrepresented group in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences
  • You have demonstrated personal achievement or endured life challenges that can contribute to the diverse perspectives in health-related research (e.g., first-generation college student, limited English proficiency, disability, geographic residency, refugee status, financially disadvantaged backgrounds, etc.)
  • You have a commitment to community service or underserved populations

In addition, you must be a U.S. Citizen, non-national citizen or permanent resident interested in pursuing a Ph.D. and a career in health-related research. You will need to be a CSULB undergraduate student during the entirety of your time with the program and have at least 1 year (Fellows) or 2 years (Upper Division/Scholars), remaining before graduation as of June.

Are freshmen eligible to apply to BUILD?

Freshman should apply to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to receive paid research experience. Let UROP know that you are interested in a Ph.D. so that you can be placed in the UROP-BUILD cohort which is a pipeline to the BUILD program the following year. Then, as a Sophomore or student with 2 years remaining at CSULB as of that June, students can apply to the BUILD, MARC U*STAR and RISE joint application.

Are juniors eligible to apply to BUILD?

Juniors, or students with 1 year remaining as of June, can apply to the BUILD Fellows program but at least one semester of research experience is required by June. If you don’t already have research experience, join a BUILD mentor’s research team by the start of Spring semester to qualify for the Fellows program. To learn more about BUILD mentors, visit this page.

Are seniors eligible to apply to BUILD?

No. Seniors or students with 1 year remaining at CSULB as of June are not eligible to apply because these programs require one or two full years of being a full-time student with at least 12 units. However, research experience is still available to Seniors in unpaid research internships.

Our mentors have both students in our programs and students doing research independent of a program. This research experience will still help with graduate applications and a career in research. Students can also go to the Graduate Studies Resource Center on the 5th floor of the library to receive free grad school prep assistance. Pro-active students can piece together some of the important components of these programs on their own. Seniors may also be eligible for other paid research programs including:

Are international students eligible to apply to BUILD?

Students must be a US Citizen or legal permanent resident to apply. This is because we are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which is a national agency. However, research experience is still available to international students with unpaid research internships. Our mentors have both students in our programs and students doing research independent of a program. This research experience will still help with graduate applications and a career in research. International students can also go to the Graduate Studies Resource Center on the 5th floor of the library to receive free grad school prep assistance. Pro-active students can piece together some of the important components of these programs on their own.

How do I apply?

First, find out if applications are currently being taken by going to the Apply page. When applications are open, in addition to the online application form, you will be asked to upload several elements into the system. So that you can be prepared, we've published a list of these elements here.

The CSULB BUILD Scholars programs use a joint online application form with MARC U*STAR and RISE, which are similar NIH-funded CSULB programs. The application form includes eligibility information and eligible applicants will need to complete and submit the Application by the Application deadline, which is usually the first week of March.

Whether you are in the BUILD training program or not, you are always welcome to join us for our upcoming workshops. Please check the Homepage and News & Events page often for upcoming events.

On my application, do I have to choose between BUILD, MARC U*STAR or RISE?

No. If you have a preference, you can state that. If you do, you will need to provide a reason for your preference. If you don’t, your application will be reviewed by all three programs at the same time and you, if accepted, you will be placed in the most appropriate program for you by the selection committee.

What if I can’t get all my application elements in on time?

If you are unable to get all your letters of recommendation or other application elements in on time, email Nicole.Streicker@csulb.edu. She will coordinate with the review committee to see if an accommodation can be made and will respond via email. If you haven’t heard back after a reasonable amount of time, feel free to follow up. Application time is a very busy time of the year.

Where can I find help to write my personal and research interest statements?

The Writer’s Resource Lab, located in LAB 206, can help you. For information about their hours and making an appointment for assistance, visit their webpage. If you are already working with a faculty mentor, seek their guidance. And, you can always use your favorite search engine to find samples and templates to give you a good start.

Do I need my official transcripts / financial aid award letter or can I take a screenshot for the application?

A screenshot is perfectly acceptable for your transcripts or financial aid award statement.

Who can fill out my faculty recommendations?

One letter needs to come from a CSULB professor in any discipline. The second letter can come from anyone that has served in a supervisory role like a TA or former employer.

What benefits does BUILD offer Students?

Mentored Research Training

  • Mentored research
    • Approx. 20 hours per week (Upper Division/Fellows)
  • Summer Research Experience
    • Full-time
    • 8 weeks for Scholars and Fellows starting the first week of June
  • Professional and research guidance with your faculty mentor

Professional Development

  • Learning Community experience
    • Individual academic and research development plan
    • Graduate school prep and application support
    • Workshops/Colloquia (guest speakers)
    • Presentation opportunities
  • Research Courses
  • Priority registration
  • GRE prep

Financial Support

  • Monthly stipend (Scholars) or hourly salary (Fellows)
  • Partial Tuition support (Scholars)
  • Funding for research supplies
  • Conference travel (Scholars and Fellows)

What are the selection criteria?

We are looking for dedicated students, with a potential to succeed, who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree and a career in health-related research from the Colleges of Health and Human Services (CHHS), Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM), Liberal Arts (CLA), or Engineering (COE). Applications will be reviewed based on a number of criteria including:

  • Evidence of strong academic performance or potential;
  • Passion for scientific inquiry;
  • Potential for successful research careers;
  • Evidence of resilience, persistence, the potential for leadership, and a desire to help others through research.

Who is on the selection committee?

Faculty members from the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Natural Science and Math, Health and Human Service, and Engineering sit on the selection committee.

How many students will BUILD select this year?

  • Scholars Program: Up to 16 sophomores and juniors will be selected to participate in this two-year program. This application is a joint application between BUILD, MARC U*STAR, and RISE. Please check with these programs for availability.
  • Fellows Program: Up to 20 juniors will be selected to participate in this one-year program.

Do I need to be available during the summer?

Yes. BUILD SURGE is an 8-week long research experience from June to July that all BUILD students must attend.

What is the difference between BUILD, MARC U*STAR, and RISE?

BUILD, MARC U*STAR and RISE are very similar programs. MARC U*STAR requires students to be in the University Honors Program (UHP) and have a 3.0 GPA. BUILD and RISE do not have GPA requirements but are looking for students that can be competitive for graduate school. MARC U*STAR and RISE focus on students from the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Engineering, and also the Department of Psychology. BUILD accepts students from those two colleges, but also the College of Health and Human Services, as well as all departments in the College of Liberal Arts. The biggest factor on how your experience will go with these programs is which mentor you choose. You will be in a Learning Community with each program for 1 hour week but you will be working with your mentor for 15-20 hours per week. So make sure to do your homework and speak to your potential mentors to make sure they would be a good fit.