The UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI) hosted its first Virtual Undergraduate Summer Research Program in 2020. Undergraduate students enrolled in Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCU) and in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs, participated in this 8-week virtual program consisting of career development workshop, research journal clubs, coding classes, writing skills workshop, all while conducting neuroscience research virtually under the mentorship of UCLA investigators. Video: Vidya Saravanapandian Music: from

Our 2021 BRI Undergraduate Summer Research Poster Fair is on August 12, 2021.

The UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI) sponsors a summer undergraduate research experience (BRI-SURE) pathway program for students currently participating in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) and other honors research programs whose goal is to increase diversity. This program solicits applications from students from universities and colleges across the nation. BRI-SURE Pathway is an 8-week, intensive summer research- training program for exceptional students interested in pursuing research careers in Neuroscience or Physiology. The program is designed to provide a rigorous, in-depth research experience to prepare participants for top-quality Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. graduate programs. BRI-SURE participants will:

  • conduct independent research with outstanding training program faculty mentors work in a cutting edge science and technology environment
  • gain exposure to some of the nation’s finest biomedical investigators and an extensive variety of research topics
  • receive individualized career counseling and develop career interests
  • participate in workshops, seminars and journal clubs
  • build a social network with student peers and faculty
  • prepare to apply to the best Ph.D. neuroscience and physiology programs.

BRI-SURE Pathway selects participants based on academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to diversity. BRI-SURE Pathway seeks students from either underrepresented or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We will host a comprehensive virtual environment for the 2021 BRI-SURE summer research program. We will take advantage of virtual tools to engineer a robust and rewarding research experience. These research activities include, but are not limited to: analysis of data from ongoing experiments, modeling of biological or behavioral systems, computerized coding, and a variety of other analysis tools and methods that are available in the virtual environment. During the summer research experience, host labs will train Neuroscience Pathways fellows to conduct a rigorous research project. The research program will culminate in a poster competition. Apart from conducting research, students will also be involved in activities that will enrich their summer experience. These include: writing a research paper, exploring the MD/PhD career path, learning about applying to the PhD program and funding opportunities, participating in research journal clubs, seminars and career panels, preparing abstracts and posters, and virtual visits to cultural centers in Los Angeles (e.g. California African American Museum, the California Science -Center, or the Hammer Museum/Getty Center). The program is under the administration of the UCLA SPUR (summer programs in undergraduate research) umbrella and participates in many of their campus wide summer activities culminating in a final summer poster day.

Application requirements:

  • Be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0;
  • Complete UCLA SPUR Online application form
  • Academic transcript
  • Personal statement (limit to 1000 words) that describes your past, present, or future leadership in and commitment to research and diversity in science
  • Summary of prior research, if any (limit to 1000 words)
  • Two letters of recommendation from science faculty
  • Paragraph (500 words or less) summarizing your interest in neuroscience or physiology;
  • In a separate file, applicants need to rank in order of preference, the top three research training areas: Neuroendocrinology, Sex Differences, and Reproduction; Neural Repair; Neural Microcircuits; Neurobehavioral Genetics; Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology; or Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology.
  • 8-week program (Monday, June 22nd – August 14th, 2022)
  • Applications are due by December 15th, 2021. Please send all additional application material to BRI-SURE (
    • Use “BRI-SURE Application Materials (First Name, Last Name)” in the subject line for tracking purposes.

Applications are due by December 15th, 2021. For application instructions, go to: and for more details about SPUR go to:

To submit additional application materials or for more information email: