1. What is the purpose of the RISE Program?
The purpose of the RISE Program is to increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of undergraduate students for careers in biomedical research. Our program offers support for student development activities, which include seminars, critical thinking skills modules, on- and off-campus research experiences, and travel to scientific meetings.
The measurable goal of the Spelman College RISE program is to increase the number of graduates admitted to academic graduate programs leading to a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences.
2. Am I eligible to participate in the RISE Program?
You are eligible for support by the RISE program if you (1) are majoring in a STEM discipline or psychology, (2) intend to go on to Ph.D.-level graduate work, (3) have a grade-point-average of close to 3.0, or better, and (4) are a US citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident.
3. Do I need to know what I’m going to do when I graduate?
Not necessarily, but you do need to know if you have a strong interest in biomedical and behavioral science research and interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in the future. The program is designed to assist you in finding out what you need to do to be successful in a biomedical doctoral program after you graduate from Spelman. RISE scholars are required to apply to Ph.D. programs in their senior year.
4. I am a pre-med major. Am I eligible to be a RISE scholar?
The goal of the RISE Program is to encourage and prepare students to go on to graduate school to earn the Ph.D. degree in preparation for careers as biomedical scientists. Due to funding regulations, we do not accept students who intend to pursue an MD.
5. What are the benefits from participation in the RISE Program?
- Paid “hands-on” research training opportunities while working in research laboratories at Spelman College or at local collaborating institutions
- Professional development
- Travel to conferences
- Mentorship in research and career paths
- Assistance with the preparation of graduate school applications
- Networking opportunities
- Seminars and Open Forums with research scientists
6. Does the RISE Program offer scholarships?
No. The financial benefits for RISE students are in the form of a salary.
7. What is the difference between “Overall” and “Major” GPA?
Major GPA refers to grades obtained from courses related to your Spelman major. The overall GPA is calculated from all the courses on your Spelman transcript. Incoming first year students should provide their overall high school GPA listed on their transcript (weighted or unweighted) when applying.
8. How do students find a research mentor?
For first year students, RISE Staff will work with you to determine which faculty members are actively conducting research that most compliments your interests. After meeting with your desired mentor and obtaining a place in their lab, you and your mentor will decide the research project you will conduct under their direction.
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who are interested in the RISE Program are strongly encouraged to seek out a mentor before applying.
9. How do I apply?
Via the RISE Application, which will be available in August of each school year.
Applicants will need to submit the fully completed application, including college transcripts (high school transcripts for FIRST applicants) and letters of recommendation, before the posted deadline in order to be considered.
10. Which unofficial transcripts do FIRST applicants turn in? Do FIRST students still need to turn in recommendation letters?
FIRST Applicants/First-Year students will need to submit their high school transcripts and letters of recommendation (sent by references to firstname.lastname@example.org) before the posted deadline in order to be considered.