The objective of the UCLA COMPASS Training Program is to prepare a diverse group of undergraduate students (both continuing UCLA students and transfer students) for careers in regenerative medicine by combining hands-on research opportunities with foundational coursework in stem cell biology, and strategic and structured research and mentorship experiences. This program will afford students the opportunity to explore a variety of ways in which their research skills can be applied towards improving human health through career paths in stem cell research in the biosciences.

The COMPASS Application is now open and available here.
Application is due May 28 by 5:00 pm (PST).


  • Major in Life Sciences or Physical Sciences and an interest in conducting research with a “biomedical” application.
  • Sophomore standing by the time the student will begin as a COMPASS trainee, or a transfer student having two years remaining at UCLA at the start of the program.
  • Successfully completed MCDB 30H or the TSP course, Research Practice 103, Section 2.
  • Applicants must have an interest in increasing diversity within scientific research and/or the scientific workforce. Students from diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply:
    • Transfer Students
    • Individuals from historically under-represented racial or ethnic groups such as, but not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Polynesians (Hawaiians, Samoans, Guamanians).
    • Students with a registered disability
    • Students from low-income backgrounds
    • Students who identify as being the first in their family to pursue higher education in the United States.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please ask the COMPASS Program Representative or Director.

COMPASS trainees are required to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Engage in research for 10-12 hours/week during the academic school year and 40 hours/week during the summer.
  • Enroll and participate in a Stem Cell course* starting Year 2 (i.e. MCDB 50, MCDB 90 or MCDB 168) *subject to change
  • Present research at conferences
  • Participate in program activities
  • Submit a summary of your work and a photo for an online profile


  • Stipend of approximately $12,000 per year
  • Summer research support
  • Trainees also receive partial tuition support (~$3,500 per year) and funding for travel to national conferences, as well as funds to support a summer extramural research experience if applicable.
  • Research related funds and research travel will be held centrally for each student.
  • Continuation of funding will depend on satisfactory performance in the program and availability of funds from the NIH

*IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID IMPLICATIONS: The COMPASS stipend will be part of your overall financial aid package; the Financial Aid office will adjust your financial aid package to ensure that you do not exceed your financial need. For more information, please contact the financial aid office directly.




The COMPASS Application can be found here.