Student at the UC Davis Arboretum in the summer


Research and professional development

The summer component of PABGAP provides rich opportunities for scholars to participate in mentored research and immersion into the culture of a research university. Specific research responsibilities vary from lab to lab, but most scholars can expect to spend 30-35 hours per week on activities focused on a research project.

Zoom screen from a research seminar
Population Biology graduate student Vicky Watson-Zink described her path to graduate school and gave a sparkling seminar on her research on the evolution of terrestrial land crabs.

In addition, scholars from UC Davis’ HBCU STEM initiatives and other summer research programs — NUTGAP, BioGAP, and the EERREC REU — will participate in weekly sessions in professional development that focus on preparing applications for graduate study and career development.

As part of this program, scholars will write drafts of statements of purpose and personal histories for graduate applications, and interact with current UC Davis graduate students and faculty in panel discussions about aspects of advanced study, funding a PhD, and career options. Presentations by faculty and graduate students about their research will expand the intellectual breadth of summer scholars.

R workshop
Scholars from UC Davis research programs engage in a workshop to learn the scripting language R.

PABGAP scholars will have the opportunity to learn the scripting language R via a hands-on workshop led by UC Davis graduate students.

PABGAP scholar Bryshal at a waterfall on a weekend excursion
PABGAP scholar Bryshal at a waterfall on a weekend excursion. Bryshal now is a PhD student at UC Davis.

Scholars also will have opportunities to explore California’s rich array of natural wonders in field trips led by faculty, as well as self-guided excursions on weekends.

The formal summer program will close with a mini research symposium in which scholars present their work to their peers, UC Davis faculty and graduate students, and family members whose travel is supported by UC Davis.

Last, but not least, mentors will remain in contact with summer scholars during their senior year to guide preparation of applications for graduate programs and co-advise honors theses and preparation of publications of research results.


Housing and meals

PABGAP scholars will stay in residence halls at UC Davis. The scholars' building will be dedicated to summer undergraduate researchers and conference attendees.

Accommodations include linens and laundry facilities, a small refrigerator and microwave combination in each room, and access to UC Davis' recreation facilities. 

HBCU students on bikes
Summer research students preparing for a bike tour of the UC Davis campus and its environs. Photo: UC Davis

We have found through our experience with summer research programs that our scholars prefer flexible meal plans. Therefore, we will provide PABGAP scholars with a plan that includes one meal per day in the dining commons and a meal card that allows swipes at other campus eateries, including the ASUCD CoffeeHousefood trucks, and other venues.

We also provide a stipend for meals eaten off campus.

For local transportation: we will provide all PABGAP scholars with a bike, bike light, U-lock, helmet, and instruction in safe cycling and getting around Davis (yes, every year, our cohorts include cycling newbies. It will be fine.) 

Transportation to Davis 

We will provide round trip transportation to Davis, with details to be arranged between admitted scholars and PABGAP staff.