BIGGER 2022 cohort

The Bridging the Gap to Enhance Clinical Research (BIGGER) Program provides a high-quality research experience over a six-month period for students in their gap year, defined as the period after college graduation and prior to applying for or enrollment in graduate/professional school.

The program is designed to attract diverse, talented students to careers in science; to foster a better understanding of clinical research and its implications; and to provide opportunities for students to gain valuable research experience in preparation for a health professions career. The proposed immersion program will expand and complement existing NIH-sponsored training programs at Duke University and under the leadership of the co-PIs, Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Vivian Chu.

Please contact Molly Matlock ( with any questions or concerns.

Program Application and Dates

The 2023 BIGGER program will run June through December 2023. Application deadline: January 23, 2023.

The 2023 BIGGER application is now open - complete the application here.

Please contact Molly Matlock ( with any questions or concerns.

BIGGER group shot
2018 BIGGER participants.

Who is the BIGGER Program for?

Students who have recently finished an undergraduate degree who are taking a gap year prior to applying for or enrolling in a graduate/health professions school.A total of six students will be chosen each year.Since this program is funded by the National Institute of Health, only U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and non-citizen nationals are eligible.

Program Highlights

  • Six-month research experience beginning in June (repeats annually)

  • Recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups from area universities

  • Trainee development of a research project in cardiovascular medicine

  • Didactic curriculum on clinical research methodology

  • Training in the responsible conduct of research

  • Career development sessions led by faculty mentors

  • Observational clinical rotation to enhance educational experience

  • Each trainee will work with a senior and junior faculty mentor

  • Participants will receive a stipend