Kentucky Bridge to a Biomedical Doctorate for Appalachian Students

The “Kentucky Bridge to a Biomedical Doctorate for Appalachian Students” is supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant awarded to the University of Kentucky (UK) and Eastern KentuckyUniversity (EKU).  This grant provides support for research-intensive Masters level training for underrepresented students who are interested in obtaining a PhD or MD/PhD degrees in biomedical sciences.  Students who are underrepresented in in biomedical sciences (Appalachian*, African-American,Hispanic-American, Native-American, disabled) are eligible to apply.


This primary objective of this two-year M.S. program is to prepare students for admittance into PhD or MD/PhD programs throughout the country.   Students are expected to complete a defined core curriculum and perform thesis research at EKU under the supervision of an EKU faculty mentor.  Students will also receive mentoring from faculty and PhD students at UK.  Students will participate in workshops at EKU and UK and also enroll in a graduate level course at UK during their second year in the Bridge program.  Students will be expected to work ~20 hours/week in the lab during the semester and full-time during the summer.  Students will be expected to apply to PhD or MD/PhD programs at the University of Kentucky, but are encouraged to apply to other graduate programs throughout the country.


Students who are accepted into this Bridge program are provided with a salary of $10,850 during the academic year, $3,830 during the summer.  The grant also covers full tuition, fees and health insurance.  Funds are also available for students to attend national meetings where they will be expected to present their research.  Students will be expected to work ~20 hours/week in the lab during the semester and full-time during the summer. 


Applicants must complete a B.A./B.S. degree in a relevant area (Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Health Sciences) with a targeted GPA of 3.0.  Two letters of recommendation are required.  The application deadline for the fall semester is June 1.  Questions about the program, including eligibility, can be sent to the Brett Spear, Program Director (; 859-257-5167).  Additional information and a link to the application can be found at:


*Appalachian Counties in Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe.  Refer to for Appalachian Counties outside of Kentucky.