Researcher Sofie Salama looks over the shoulder of a student looking though a book in a lab. Both are wearing lab coats.

The Office of Diversity at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute offers the Research Mentoring Internship program (RMI) for outstanding undergraduate students interested in pursuing research projects in areas relevant to genomics, including the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomics research.

The RMI is supported by a grant from the NIH-National Human Genome Research Institute, with additional support from the UC Santa Cruz Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.  RMI scholars receive rigorous research training, financial support, professional development guidance, and join an extended mentoring community that includes faculty advisors, peers, and RMI program staff. Accepted scholars must fulfill internship program requirements and be dedicated to continuing to a Ph.D. in genomics and beyond.

Students who participate in the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute Research Mentoring Internship program can expect to gain a realistic picture of academic research careers based on actual experience in these roles. The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute Research Mentoring Internship exposes undergraduate students to the nature and rigors of a research environment under the close supervision of faculty mentoring, thus enhancing preparation for and success in graduate school and beyond.

The community of current and former RMI scholars shares their interest in genomics research and related ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) with other student interns from underrepresented groups. The Genomics Institute engages graduate fellows as peer mentors to undergraduate internship awardees, thereby creating a pipeline of support and mentorship.

The RMI scholar support program includes

  • Regular intern meetings
  • Advising with the internship program director
  • Participation in scheduled genomics research, professional development events and workshops
  • A recognition ceremony at the end of the year, where interns present their research findings and engage the audience in a scholarly presentation

We encourage you to contact the Genomics Institute Office of Diversity (, to discuss before beginning your application process. Application review begins in mid-May. Please see our Genomics Scholarships FAQ page for detailed information about UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute’s RMI program.

headshots of current 2023-2024 RMI scholars

1. Does UC Santa Cruz offer genomics scholarships?

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute’s Research Mentoring Internship (RMI) is a $3500 scholarship per quarter; renewable for up to 8 quarters for qualified UC Santa Cruz undergraduate students. Sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute, the RMI awards support the NHGRI’s goal to increase the numbers and capabilities of minority scientists, science professionals, and ethicists.

2. What is the scholarship for?

The Research Mentoring Internship (RMI) is designed to support diversity at UCSC and in genomic research by providing scholarships and mentored research training for qualified, underrepresented undergraduates who are interested in genomics science and its ethical, legal, or social implications (ELSI).

3. What does the scholarship program offer?

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute Research Mentoring Internship (RMI) offers academic and professional advising, hands-on research training, as well as financial support. For more information, see our RMI program page.

4. Who can apply?

Students from any major can apply. In addition to wet-lab and computational genomics research by science and engineering majors, RMI scholarships have been awarded for ELSI research into the psychology, philosophy, and sociology of genomics.

Other scholarship eligibility requirements:

  • US citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident
  • UC Santa Cruz undergraduate enrolled any declared major
  • Plans to pursue graduate study or a research career in a genomics-related field

Since the RMI diversity awards particularly support the NHGRI’s goal to increase the numbers and capabilities of minority scientists and science professionals, we especially encourage scholarship applications from students who are members of populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education and in genomic research: African American, Native Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaskan, Hispanic, Latina/o, and Chicana/o.

5. What are the requirements for those accepted to receive the award?

Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA
Participate in all required activities and meetings related to the RMI
Fulfill the requirements of your academic program
Complete a defined research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Projects may take a number of forms, determined in consultation with the program director and project mentor. Project options include research papers, poster and oral presentations, and literature reviews. All participants are required to present their research findings in a poster or oral presentation at a professional conference.

6. What is the term of the award?

RMI scholarships are usually awarded only for one quarter but may be renewed depending on the nature of the student’s research and student performance.

7. How are award decisions made?

The RMI selection committee makes awards based on the following criteria:

  • Academic promise of the applicant
  • The potential impact on genome-related research
  • The overall quality and originality of the project proposal
  • Contributions to diversity at UC Santa Cruz and in genomic research
8. How do I apply for this scholarship?

We encourage you to contact the Genomics Institute Office of Diversity ( to discuss before beginning your application process. Application review begins in mid-May.

9. What application materials do I need to submit?
  1. Completed copy of the RMI application
  2. Your resume or CV
  3. Current copy of your unofficial transcript
  4. Letter of support from a faculty member who is willing to be your research advisor for the project. If you do not yet have a faculty mentor, the RMI team will help you find an appropriate match.
10. What is the deadline?
  • RMI applications are generally accepted until the last day of instruction.
  • Entering transfer students have different deadlines for fall funding. Please contact the Genomics Institute Office of Diversity ( for additional instructions and application information.
Last modified: May 03, 2024