Frequently Asked Questions


Are there guidelines for letters of recommendation?

The SIBS and PARAdiGM Programs are designed to give talented undergraduates the opportunity to conduct biomedical research in laboratories at an Academic Medical Center. The type of students who flourish in these summer internships are those who have a passion for science and want to utilize this opportunity to determine if graduate or medical school (or both through a MD/PhD Program) is the best fit for their future career. Students need to have taken some basic courses in biology in order to benefit from this experience. In addition, we are looking for students who are self-driven and will take advantage of the UAB environment to experience all the opportunities that an Academic Medical Center offers.

Letters of recommendation should:

  • Discuss the student’s suitability for the SIBS/PARAdiGM internship.
  • Emphasize the referee’s involvement with and knowledge of the student (how long have you known the student and in what context). If the student has done research with you, please comment on the student’s laboratory experience and capacity for a future career involving research.
  • Comment on how the student will contribute to our program.
  • Discuss one or two qualities or experiences that make this student especially appropriate for the internship.
  • Explain how this summer experience would make a difference in the student’s intellectual and personal growth.

My reference says s/he didn't receive an email  from your office requesting a letter of recommendation. Why is that? 

If you entered their email address correctly, the system sends the request email to them when it sends you a confirmation that your application has been submitted.  If you copied and pasted their email address, it won't work.  You may also want to suggest that they check their spam box. It is your responsibility to make sure they have sent us their letters of recommendation. All letters must be received by February 22, one week after the February 15 application deadline.



Can I apply if I am a freshman, but have sophomore or junior standing due to AP credits? 

  • Yes, we accept applications from students who are true freshman, but have sophomore or junior level standing due to credits from high school AP  or other coursework.

Can I apply if I need to start SIBS late because my final college-exams don't finish until after the SIBS start date? 

  • Yes, you can still apply as long as you can start within a week of the SIBS start date. Please indicate on your application your anticipated start date and the reason for a potential delay.

Can I apply if I am a senior? 

  • No, we do not accept applications from seniors in college.

Can international students apply? 

  • No, SIBS students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

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