bridges cohort

CSUN-UCLA Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program

Program Goals:

  • Our inter-institutional training program will provide an opportunity for engaged, interested, and successful trainees, both Graduate and Undergraduate, to gain the necessary skills and qualifications to springboard into careers in stem cell research. This program is expected to contribute significantly to the number of students prepared for research careers in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine that span the spectrum, from basic studies to translational approaches.
  • Both Graduate and Undergraduate internships will focus on a hands-on, practical laboratory-intensive training experience.
  • Trainees will participate in a week-long intensive hESC training course in the USC CIRM funded Shared Research Laboratory paid for by the grant.
  • Trainees will then have access to more than 40 stem cell research labs headed by UCLA faculty to complete their internship.
  • Trainees will participate in stem cell biology research in mentor labs at UCLA an average of 40 hours per week, will attend and participate in weekly stem cell biology-related seminars and journal clubs, and will attend major annual stem cell symposia at UCLA and CIRM.
  • The research that the Bridges trainees perform at UCLA will culminate in a written and oral Senior Thesis for undergraduate students and a written and oral Graduate Thesis for the Master’s candidates.
  • Students will be enrolled at CSUN in special internship courses that will be supported by the Bridges grant for up to $5,250 for Undergraduates and $7,000 for Grad students (for tuition and fees during the internship time only).
  • Students will receive a stipend of $2575 per month during the internship time only and travel fellowships to attend the CIRM symposia and a conference of their choice.

Program Information

  • 6 available graduate student 1 year internship positions per year
  • 4 available undergraduate 2 semester (9 months) internship positions per year

Target Participants

Highly qualified and culturally diverse undergraduates and Master's students at CSUN.

Eligibility Criteria


  • The core program requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in biology, or equivalent for graduate student participants
  • These include one year of Biological Principles and Lab, one year of General Chemistry and Lab, one year of Organic Chemistry and Lab, one year of Physics and Lab, and one semester each of Evolutionary Biology, Cell Biology and Lab, and Genetics.
  • Cell and Tissue Culture and Lab (BIOL 577/L) earning an "A" grade is required before formal acceptance into the internship.
  • Participation in at least one semester (or summer) equivalent to 2 units of Independent Study or Directed Research credit performing basic research in a Program approved research laboratory is required.
  • Graduate student applicants (new and current CSUN grad students) must take the general and subject GRE before acceptance into the program.
  • New graduate student applicants must be accepted by the University, the Biology or Biochemistry Department, and have an accepted CSUN mentor in the event that they are not accepted into Bridges.
  • Undergraduate participants will be enrolled in Senior Thesis units and will write an Honors thesis at the end of their internship.
  • Graduate students will be required to enroll in Graduate Thesis units and will write their Master's thesis based on research performed during their internship.


  • Prerequisite checks
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Commitment to goals of the program
  • Applications will be screened for compliance with eligibility requirements and scored by the admissions committee.
  • Highest scoring students will be referred to the project director, Dr. Malone, for final approval.
  • Participant selection procedures have been developed to ensure all eligible students have equal opportunity for selection.
  • All admitted students will attend a mandatory orientation at CSUN describing the specific requirements and expectations of the program.
  • Before beginning their internships on August 1, students will enroll in a week-long stem cell techniques course that provides hands on laboratory training in hESCs at the CIRM-funded Shared Research Laboratory at USC (tuition and fees will be paid for by the grant).
  • Students will also be required to take the necessary safety training workshops at UCLA before beginning their internships.

How Do I Apply?

Students are invited to apply at the CSUN Biology web page. Download the application—. Applications are to be accepted until all slots have been filled.