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Young Scholars Program (YSP)

Young Scholar Ideation Event

Save the Date for this exciting opportunity presented by CMI’s Associate Members.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

J.C. Raulston Arboretum

McSwain Education Center, Rooms 105-107-109

Lunch will be provided.

Registration & poster upload deadline extended through Monday, October 2nd.

Must have a research summary poster to attend; templates available here


  • 11:00-11:15 a.m. Registration check in & poster setup
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Learn & Mingle
  • 12:15-1:15 p.m. Lunch & Continue Discussions
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m. Ideate & Consolidate
  • 2:15-3:00 p.m. Finalize, Q & A
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m. Social at TBD location.

This is combination of the CMI’s former Young Scholar Pitch Day with the “Think, Collaborate & Do” Ideation format. Join us for an afternoon to share your research interests and network with other graduate students and postdocs. Then form a team to submit a proposal for the Young Scholar Award, which funds an undergraduate trainee in the companion Summer Interdisciplinary Research Initiative (SIRI program) for a summer of research mentorship as well as funds for research supplies and professional development.

Program Summary

Once a year, the CMI invites its Associate Members to submit collaborative interdisciplinary research proposals. Selected Associate Members will be named CMI Young Scholars and will serve as mentors for an undergraduate student in Spring/Summer.

To facilitate the collaborative proposal development process, an annual networking event is held to allow students to mingle and brainstorm new interdisciplinary project ideas. Students gather to share research interests and network with other graduate students and postdocs. Those whose interests are aligned can form a team to submit a proposal for the Young Scholar Award.

Proposal Team Requirements:  Team are comprised of two or more graduate students/postdocs from different disciplines. Their faculty PIs must approve their participation, and at least one of the faculty must be CMI full members from different CMI research focus areas (see below). The team must select one faculty PI to serve as the lead for the purpose of funding distribution. Associate CMI members serve as links between labs to facilitate the participation of non-CMI members. Proposals across CMI research programs are encouraged. 

The research teams will be awarded $9000 ($4400 for an undergraduate stipend and $3600 in supply money to support their research, as well as an additional $1000 to be divided between the graduate mentors and used to support their research in any way they choose in coordination with their departments).

Selected Young Scholars’s projects will be posted on CURiOuS for undergraduate students to apply to. YSP students interview undergraduate applicants and select the undergraduate SIRI student who best fits their project. The SIRI student works with and is mentored by the YSP team for the duration of the project, which starts in the Spring semester and continue through the Summer.

Research Project Priority Areas

Chemistry of Life
Focused on molecular-focused research from molecules to translational animal and plant sciences, such as drug discover and synthetic biology to novel biomaterials and molecular characterization. Specific themes include molecular mechanisms of metabolism and disease, molecular synthesis and biomimicry, and molecular therapeutics.
Emerging and Infectious Diseases
Focused on integrating basic and clinical research to investigate infectious diseases of animals and humans. Areas of interest include molecular pathogenesis, evolutionary and comparative genomics, mathematical modeling, antibiotic resistance, microbial diversity, pathogen detection, drug discovery and vaccines
Functional Tissue Engineering
Focused on creation and implementation of novel biomaterials, manufacturing approaches, mechanobiology, stem cell technology,  and large animal models and translation of basic findings into applications of clinical/societal applications.
Translational Pharmacology and Physiology
Focused on areas that span basic, translational, preclinical, and clinical sciences to clarify disease pathophysiology and utilize animal models to expedite the development and commercialization of diagnostics and therapies for a wide range of noncommunicable disease

Timeline (2023-2024)

September 21, 2023 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Virtual Information Session with CMI Associate Member panel

October 5th, 2023 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  –  Young Scholar Program Ideation Event (JC Raulston Arboretum)

October 22, 2023* – YSP Project applications due by 5:00 p.m.

*New extended deadline

October 27, 2023 – YSP winners announced.

November 6, 2023  – SIRI projects posted on CURiOuS for undergraduate students to apply.

November 20, 2023 – SIRI applications due.

November 28-December 1, 2023 – SIRI Interviews.

December 5, 2023 – Final decisions on SIRI students.

Proposal Formatting Requirements

Proposal should be 1.5 pages in length.  Page 1 should be an NIH-style aims page (see instructions and examples) and the second 1/2 page should be a plan for undergraduate mentoring and a 1-paragraph summary of the project for undergraduate applicants to be posted on CURiOuS. Arial 11pt font and 0.75” margins. References are not included in page length.

Example Projects:

  1. Piezoelectric stimulation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes on CNT-based electroconductive scaffolds
  2. Local delivery of immunotherapeutics utilizing self-assembling associative chitosan systems with tunable, controlled release kinetics
  3. Elucidating the structural synaptic alterations in the prelimbic cortext of a mouse model of atopic dermatitis with features of a chronic pain and depression comorbidity
  4. Determining the impact of post-injury probiotic treatment on the intestinal microbiota and epithelial recovery in a pig surgical model of necrotizing enterocolitis


CMI Executive Assistant

Sarah O’Connor