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2021 Summer PEERS

Summer PEERS

In the summer of 2021, under the direction of Dr. Debra Ragland who serves as the advisor for IMSD Peer Mentoring, we launched the Summer Partners in Enhancing Early Research Success (PEERS) program. The Summer PEERS are current graduate students from diverse research and cultural backgrounds who volunteer their time to ensure that our summer students have a well-rounded summer experience. Summer students are paired with bench mentors for training in the lab, this is decided by the labs they choose to join for the summer. PEERS mentors are an added asset to our students outside of the laboratory, though both kinds of mentors work together throughout the summer to ensure that the summer students’ needs are being met both inside and outside of the lab. For more information about PEERS mentoring, please visit this website.


What will you get in UNC’s SOLAR program?

  • 8 weeks of mentored summer research on an independent project in the biological or biomedical sciences
  • Weekly career mentoring and professional development workshops
  • A journal club series that teaches scientific literacy and critical thinking skills
  • Poster session to present your research at summer’s end
  • Social activities
2021 SOLAR alumna Sally Boerma presenting her research

What kinds of life science research are going on at UNC?

UNC ranks among the best public universities in the nation. We are a Research I institution with more than 300 active faculty members performing research in a variety of areas in the biological and biomedical sciences. Many of our faculty are Nobel laureates or members of the National Academy of Sciences. Once you are accepted into the SOLAR program, Dr. Ragland will work to place you in a lab that fits your interests, where you will receive superior mentoring and training.

To get an idea of the specific areas of active research at UNC and identify specific faculty that you would like to work with, please visit: