Bridges to the Doctorate

Program Overview

The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Bridges to the Doctorate (BTD) program is a training program for students who have recently completed their bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue a career in the Biological, Biomedical, Bioinformatics or Computational Sciences. The goal of the BTD program is to prepare students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences for entry and success in top Biomedical, Bioinformatic, or Computational Science PhD programs. Students spend a year at N.C. A&T gaining valuable research experience taking relevant graduate-level coursework and participate in professional development activities tailored to their specific needs.


The BTD year begins in early August and continues for 2 years when the program culminates in a Master’s degree.

Summer (pre 1st year)

  • Arrive at N.C. A&T and meet students in your fellow cohort who are also entering the program
  • Lab Skills bootcamp: Hands-on crash course for working in a biomedical research lab including laboratory math, basic research techniques, biostatistics, bioinformatics, bioethics, laboratory safety and more
  • A Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature Workshop will build skills in reading primary research papers and critically analyzing them
  • Professional development workshops such as time management, money management, succeeding in the research lab, and mental health awareness
  • Learn about research opportunities at N.C. A&T and UNC, and meet faculty to identify a research mentor

Fall (1st year)

  • Participate in graduate level courses
  • Participate in weekly BTD group meetings
  • Participate in 2 research rotations
  • Attend ABRCMS or other professional meeting

Spring (1st year)

  • Continue graduate level courses
  • Professional development training such as career opportunities and presentation skills
  • Finalize research project and mentor selection
  • Participate in weekly BTD group meetings
  • Attend professional meeting

Summer (1st year)

  • Continue research, finalize graduate research committee
  • Prepare presentation for research conference
  • Personal Statement workshop(s)
  • Identify graduate programs, begin application preparation

Fall (2nd year)

  • Participate in graduate level courses, scientific communication course
  • Participate in weekly BTD group meetings
  • Attend ABRCMS or other professional meeting
  • Complete graduate school applications

Spring (2nd year)

  • Continue graduate level courses
  • Graduate school interviews and acceptance!
  • Complete and defend thesis research
  • Attend professional meeting

Summer (2nd year)

  • If necessary, complete research and defend thesis


All BTD Scholars will receive a living stipend of $23,800 during each year of support. In addition, scholars will receive $10,000 to support tuition costs, funds to support student health insurance, research support funds, and funds to travel to a scientific conference.


N.C. A&T BTD participants must be recent baccalaureate graduates from an accredited U.S. university in the fields related to the BTD program and must belong to underrepresented groups in these sciences. Such candidates include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds socially, culturally, economically, or educationally. Nationally, racial, and ethnic groups have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical/behavioral research include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives/Native Hawaiians and citizens of the US Pacific islands. BTD participants must be US citizens, nationals or permanent residents.