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Post-baccalaureate Transitions to Graduate School

 

Bridge-to-PhD program (B2P)

Program Details

Our Bridge-to-PhD program supports the transition of post-baccalaureate students into ocean science graduate programs. Each year, 4-5 new B2P fellows will be placed in C-CoMP research groups. The 2-year, paid fellowship program will provide sufficient time for students to establish core competencies in their relevant fields while benefiting from tailored mentoring and professional development. Fellows will be chosen through an application process that prioritizes applicants from backgrounds traditionally excluded from the sciences. They will be placed in science disciplines ranging from marine chemistry to microbial ecology to data science by matching student interest with C-CoMP faculty, and their research experiences will be aligned with science objectives of the Center. Through virtual platforms, B2P Fellows will engage in peer mentoring and professional development, including: (1) fellowship and proposal writing, (2) ethics in research, and (3) science communication. Fellows will engage in C-CoMP outreach/education activities, participate in the C-CoMP annual meeting, travel to national meetings, and attend a week-long capstone experience at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS).

 

B2P enhances recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities (URM) in science because it provides essential technical and mentoring support for students who are navigating the period of uncertainty between graduating from an undergraduate institution and pursuing their future career/education goals. B2P closes this gap by offering students the opportunity to explore their research interests, gain technical knowledge, and develop collaborations before they commit to entering into a masters or PhD program.

 

Application Materials

  • Cover Page
  • Curriculum Vitae
    • This element of the application summarizes your education, research experience(s), professional qualifications, accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and special qualifications. Check out tips for composing CVs here and here
  • Statement of interest
    • Please compose a 750-word statement that addresses why you want to join the program, elements can include:
      • Research interests in ocean science
      • Long-term education and career goals (Why do you want to join the program?)
      • Your qualifications (note any prior research experiences if applicable)
      • Names of C-CoMP faculty whose research interests align with yours and why
  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts are accepted for your application. If you are accepted into the program, we will ask you to submit your official transcripts.
  • Voluntary Self-Identification Data Sheet

Combine application materials into a single pdf file (combine PDF pages together for free here) and email to ccompeducation@whoi.edu with the subject line B2P_lastname. Applications will be accepted between April 1st, 2022 and May 30th, 2022, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

  • Two letters of recommendation (from research mentors or academic instructors)
    • Check out tips for requesting recommendation letters here and here
    • Be sure to give your letter writers ample notice of your intent to apply to this program so they can submit their letters when you submit your application. Letters must be emailed directly by letter writers to the following email: ccompeducation@whoi.edu with the subject line "B2P_ref_lastname".

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do we define URM?

Our working definition of an underrepresented minority (URM) is someone whose racial or ethnic makeup is African American or Black, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and/or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with one or more of these races/ethnicities as well as from individuals who would bring other dimensions of diversity to C-CoMP, such as individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2. Who is eligible?

Applicants must have:

  • a four-year degree from an accredited college or university as of July 1st, 2022
  • a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale
  • a desire to apply to PhD programs within two years of beginning B2P
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status at the time of application

3. How long is the B2P Fellowship?

Funding is provided for a two-year period (see timeline figure below).

4. Why is B2P unique?

  • Fellows are appointed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), but can be trained at any of the C-CoMP team labs
  • Fellows are non-degree seeking
  • Fellows receive mentoring and professional development training concerning fellowship proposal writing, research ethics, and science communication
  • Fellows receive remote data training seminars that establish common vocabularies and a sense of community
  • Fellows participate in the C-CoMP activities such as the annual meeting, virtual networking opportunities, research exchanges, outreach events and more

5. What is the salary?

Fellowships will cover salary ($41,000 per year), travel and supplies ($3,000 per year), and health and wellness funds ($6,000 per year). All payments are made directly to the Fellow as an electronic funds transfer into a personal account at a U.S. financial institution.

6. How can the supplies funds be used? 

The fellowship includes a research allowance of $3,000 per year. This allowance is intended to cover research- and training-related costs. Allowable research and training costs include travel, such as short-term visits to other institutions or laboratories, fieldwork, attendance at scientific meetings, training, special equipment, IT equipment and software, supplies, publication costs, access fees for databases, and other research-related expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document expenditures. Funds will be reimbursed through WHOI's financial system, with training and assistance provided by C-CoMP administrative staff based at WHOI.

7. How can the health and wellness funds be used? 

Since Fellows are not eligible for enrollment in the WHOI health insurance group plans, if you are not already getting insurance through a spouse/partner/family member, then you will need to purchase your own medical insurance coverage. The fellowship includes health and wellness funds of $6,000 per year. This allowance is intended to offset health insurance and other wellness expenses. Suggested coverage should include ambulatory care, emergency services, hospital coverage, mental health counseling, prescription drug benefits, rehabilitative coverage, laboratory services, and preventative services including chronic disease management. Allowable costs include health insurance (any combination of medical, vision, and/or dental) whether purchased as a group or individual plan, disability insurance, retirement savings, and dependent care expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document expenditures.

8. How does the application process work?

Applications will be accepted between April 1st, 2022 and May 30th, 2022 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. B2P Fellows must start their appointment by September 1st, 2022.

9. What happens if I am selected?

The fellow would submit an official transcript and work with their host to discuss a project and plans for a start date. 

10. Who is available to answer questions regarding my application?

For issues with application submission or access to application materials, contact Sofia Ibarrarán-Viniegra (sibarraran@whoi.edu).

 

B2P Timeline

The timeline for C-CoMP's Bridge-to-PhD program is presented in the figure above. B2P fellows will begin their fellowships in early fall of the first year and end their fellowships at the end of summer of the second year. During the fellowship, fellows will conduct research, attend profesisonal development meetings, apply to graduate programs, and network within the scientific community to explore career paths, among other activities.
The timeline for C-CoMP's Bridge-to-PhD program is presented in the figure above. B2P fellows will begin their fellowships in early fall of the first year and end their fellowships at the end of summer of the second year. During the fellowship, fellows will conduct research, attend profesisonal development meetings, apply to graduate programs, and network within the scientific community to explore career paths, among other activities.