ADVANCE Summer Institute


COVID-19 Update: We are currently planning for the 2020 ADVANCE Summer Institute to operate this summer as planned. However, we also recognize that there is a possibility that, depending on how the COVID-19 situation unfolds, we may need to make adjustments to the program or even cancel.

Some of the adjustments may include virtual and remote experiences. We will monitor updates in campus policy closely before making any changes or decisions regarding the program for summer 2020.

For more information about Stanford University’s response to COVID-19, please visit For information regarding Stanford’s response to summer programs, please visit this Stanford Health Alerts webpage and scroll to the bottom of the page.



We are excited to announce Stanford Biosciences’ 7th annual ADVANCE Summer Institute, an intensive 8-week transition program for incoming graduate students from diverse backgrounds. The ADVANCE Summer Institute evolved from a similar program created by the Biomedical Association for the Interests of Minority Students (BioAIMS) in 2010. ADVANCE seeks to prepare students for a successful graduate career at Stanford and we look forward to building on the successes of the past two years.

The summer before a matriculating student’s first year offers an excellent opportunity to transition to graduate school without the usual whirlwind of activity that begins in the fall. Through ADVANCE we will facilitate the participants’ smooth transition into their first year, laying the foundation for a successful and rewarding graduate experience.

ADVANCE provides participants with an opportunity to begin research in their home program a quarter early. Participants will participate in small literature discussion groups led by faculty and postdocs and attend workshops that will support their successful transition to graduate school. Additionally, they will participate in mentoring and social activities hosted by BioAIMS and SBSA as a mechanism for fostering a sense of belonging and community. Support for ADVANCE participants will continue throughout their first year and beyond through mentoring, tutoring and research update meetings.

ADVANCE is motivated by the Biosciences’ commitment to be fully inclusive and supportive of all students, and by the belief that a diverse graduate student body enhances the quality of the educational experience for all students.

Program Dates: Friday, July 3, 2020 – Friday, August 28, 2020

Key components of ADVANCE include:

  • Full lab rotation
  • Journal Club
  • Peer and Faculty Mentoring
  • Exposure to Stanford resources and relevant offices
  • Community Building and Social Activities
  • Workshops on important topics such as: transitioning to graduate school, reading and analyzing science papers, research ethics, impostor syndrome, career paths for biosciences PHD graduates, technical communication skills, basic science concepts, as needed, and writing skills, including early preparation for the NSF and other fellowships. Programming Course.


Download the brochure (PDF)

Download the poster (PPT)


Please check the Event Calendar for more information.


Tony Ricci, PhD, Faculty Director

Jennifer R. Cohen, PhD, Associate Director for Biosciences Diversity Programs


Any questions/suggestions, please email us at