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Developing Scholars

Bridges to the Future Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bridges Program?

Bridges helps you become aware of career opportunities in the biomedical and behavioral sciences fields while attending classes at your community college. Bridges provides an opportunity for you to obtain early research experience in the biomedical and behavioral fields, and transition to a 4-year institution such as Kansas State University to complete your Bachelor of Science degree.

Are the Bio-Medical or Behavioral Sciences for Me?

If you have an interest in health care, science, biology, psychology, nutrition, food science, chemistry, physics, math, veterinary science, applied social sciences or social work, or see yourself someday as a scientist, we can provide a bridge to your journey. 

What are some of the activities that I will participate in as a Bridges student?

  • Gain real research experience at your community college
  • Attend, along with your family, K-State's Open House in the spring to visit with other faculty scientists and students working on research projects
  • Attend a one-week research experience and orientation course at K-State at the end of May
    • Learn how scientists work on problems
    • Be introduced to research equipment 
    • Learn how to use a research library
    • Learn about ethics and the role they play in science
    • Become familiar with student life on a large research campus
  • After your 2nd year of community college studies, participate in a paid K-State summer research internship prior to fall with a Kansas State University professor
  • Transition or "bridge" into K-State's Developing Scholars Program (DSP) for undergraduate research

What are the advantages of becoming a Bridges student?

  • Develop an early start in your career path
  • Participate in the Developing Scholars Program (DSP) at K-State where you will be paid to conduct research
  • Work side-by-side with a research mentor or research team
  • Develop science aptitude, critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Enjoy a network of committed staff and faculty who will be your "DSP family"
  • Acquire professional experience and career contacts for your "Next Step"
  • Work with other motivated, serious-minded peers who may become your social group 

Can I really afford this?

Once accepted into the Bridges program, students will receive tuition scholarships at their community colleges and at Kansas State University when they transfer. You can also visit http://www.k-state.edu/admissions/finaid to find out more about ways to pay for tuition at K-State. 

Who should apply?

  • Students with an interest in biomedical sciences, mathematics, or behavioral sciences 
  • Serious-minded students with a strong work ethic 
  • Students who desire to get an early start in a career path 
  • A freshman or beginning sophomore student from an under-represented group as per National Institutes of Health guidelines 

Note: Students who do not meet these guidelines but are interested in undergraduate research at K-State are invited to contact the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry: www.k-state.edu/undergradresearch 

How do I get more information or apply to the program?

  • Contact your NIH Bridges to the Future representative on your campus
  • Participate in career awareness events on your campus and at K-State
  • Complete a Bridges application through your community college by the beginning of your sophomore year
  • Complete a DSP Application by January of your sophomore year

Apply to the Developing Scholars Program.

Apply to Kansas State University.

Schedule a Visit to Kansas State University.

Explore scholarship opportunities at Kansas State University.

Melitza with Bridges to the Future certificate of completion

Melitza Ramirez is a senior majoring in Kinesiology. She transferred to K-State from Dodge City Community College in Fall 2017 through the Bridges to the Future program. In Ramirez’s pursuit of becoming a Public Health professional, she has been able to research in the FIT Lab with Dr. Katie Heinrich, conduct her own research study (still ongoing), and attend two research conferences, all within her first year at K-State.  Ramirez’s research in the FIT Lab is primarily focused on effects of high-intensity functional training on athletes, and her own study is designed to highlight the link between caffeine supplements and CrossFit athlete performance.

In March of 2018, Ramirez attended SciComm 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska, a conference on effective science communication. A few months later, she attended the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ramirez says that even though attending these conferences as an undergraduate was intimidating, she gained networking experience and valuable presentation practice. “Going to these conferences helped me further understand where my interests lie and also gave me an opportunity to get to know other people in my field. I learned a lot from them,” she remarked.

How did Ramirez get to this point? She contributes her opportunities to the Developing Scholars Program/Bridges to the Future, the support of her mentor and lab mates, as well as the many grants and scholarships she received to help her cover the costs. Melitza is a recipient of multiple Kinesiology department scholarships, a Professional Mentoring Program Travel Grant, an Alianza Scholarship, an OURCI Travel Grant, and a Science Communications Travel Grant. Ramirez states, “Undergraduate research has helped me become a developed student. What I learn in research has greatly benefitted me in my classwork and has pushed me to do and experience new things I would normally shy away from.”