BIGGER: The BrIdGing the Gap to Enhance Clinical Research Program

Please note: The 2018 Application Period has closed. Please check back for information on the 2019 application period.

The BrIdGing the Gap to Enhance Clinical Research Program (“BIGGER” program) provides a high-quality research experience over a 6-month period for students in their gap year, defined as the period after college graduation and prior to applying for or enrollment in graduate/professional school. The program is designed to attract diverse, talented students to careers in science; to foster a better understanding of clinical research and its implications; and to provide opportunities for students to gain valuable research experience in preparation for a health professions career. The proposed immersion program will expand and complement existing NIH-sponsored training programs at Duke University and under the leadership of the co-PIs, Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Vivian Chu.


Who is the BIGGER Program for?

Students who have recently finished an undergraduate degree who are taking a gap year prior to applying for or enrolling in a graduate/health professions school.

A total of six students will be chosen each year.

Since this program is funded by the National Institute of Health, only U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and non-citizen nationals are eligible.


puzzle game student photo


Program Highlights

  • 6-month research experience beginning June 2018 (repeats annually)
  • Recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups from area universities
  • Trainee development of a research project in cardiovascular medicine
  • Didactic curriculum on clinical research methodology
  • Training in the responsible conduct of research
  • Career development sessions led by faculty mentors
  • Observational clinical rotation to enhance educational experience
  • Each trainee will work with a senior and junior faculty mentor
  • Participants will receive a stipend

2018 Program Application and Dates

The 2018 BIGGER program will runs June to December 2018. Applications for the 2018 period are now closed.

Please contact Terri Taylor ( with any questions or concerns.