Student Training Resources

In addition to working with their BUILD faculty mentor on research, BUILD Scholars and Fellows also participate in various training activities during their time in the program. These activities aim to enhance trainees’ research and professional development skills and build their confidence as a researcher, in order to succeed in their undergraduate career, in graduate school, and as research professionals.


The Mentor Memorandum of Understanding outlines the benefits and responsibilities of being a BUILD research mentor to promote positive mentoring experiences for both the mentors and the trainees. The faculty mentor must acknowledge and sign the MOU before a trainee can start working with the mentor. Download the current year's MOU below:

Summer SURGE Learning Community

In the summer before their first semester in the program, Scholars and Fellows work with their BUILD Faculty Mentors full time and attend an 8-week Summer Undergraduate Research Gateway to Excellence (SURGE) Learning Community from June to July. In the fall/winter of their first year in the program, Scholars are expected to apply to participate in a summer research internship at a research-intensive university or a research institution in the subsequent summer. SURGE introduces trainees to the program and provide them with community of support and resources that help prepare them to research and graduate school application. SURGE culminates with the annual Summer Research Symposium where trainees present their research to friends, family, faculty, and peers. Continuing BUILD Scholars who will spend their second summer at CSULB will attend SURGE 2 Learning Community, which provides structured research training activities and support for graduate school application preparation. The current syllabi in PDF format for this year SURGE are available below:

BUILD Learning Community (LC) Seminars

Scholars and Fellows are required to enroll in a 1-unit BUILD Learning Community (LC) Seminar classes each semester. The class is on Fridays 9-9:50AM. LC activities are taught by faculty Training Directors to provide trainees with resources and tools to navigate the challenges of graduate study and career entry in research. The activities also focus on preparation of summer research internship and graduate school application, such as statements of purpose, Curriculum Vitae, and interviews. In addition to the LC classes, BUILD trainees receive support for GRE preparation. They are also required to take at least one research-infused course during each year in the program. The current syllabi in PDF format for this year BUILD LC seminars are available below:

Conference Travels

BUILD provides trainees with a yearly travel support of $1,500 to present their research work at professional meetings. All

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Scholars must attend a student conference (e.g., ABRCMS/SACNAS/NCUR) in Year 1 with BUILD and are encouraged to present a professional conference in their discipline in Year 2. In Year One, a research presentation is encouraged but not required for Scholars. Fellows are expected to present at a professional conference (preferred) or student conference by December to increase their chances of graduate admissions. In consultation with their BUILD mentor, trainees need to submit their travel request to the BUILD Office prior to their travel. Unused travel funds will expire at the end of each fiscal year (June 30). Guidelines on BUILD travel request can be found below: