Research Initiative to promote Diversity in Radiology (RIDR Program)

RIDR is a new research and academic career development program funded by the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and developed by the department’s Diversity and Inclusion committee. We provide unique research experiences and focused mentorship to students from diverse backgrounds. Our goal is to provide an early opportunity for students to explore radiology as a career choice and support the next wave of innovation in our field.

RIDR Class of 2019 with Dr. Matt Bucknor, program director, and Samira Zebarjadian, program coordinator.

What is the purpose of RIDR?

The RIDR program provides an opportunity for high school, college, and medical students to participate in basic science, translational, or clinical radiology research projects. The program supports the establishment of a relationship between a student and a talented and successful faculty researcher within the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Students will spend 8 weeks during the summer working with a faculty mentor on a research project.

The student’s research experience will culminate in an abstract to be submitted for presentation at the department Summer Students Symposium. Students are encouraged to submit abstracts to meetings and collaborate on any potential manuscripts that might arise out of their work.

What types of projects can students work on?

Accepted students will be matched with a project of interest and a mentor. The full scope of the department’s innovative research programs can be viewed here:

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include those committed to working on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, those with a desire to serve culturally diverse and medically underserved populations, and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. On the application, you will be asked to explain how you qualify. Participants may be at the high school, college, or medical student level. Medical students who will have completed their first year of medical school are strongly encouraged to apply for the summer following their first year. Advanced medical students are also eligible to participate, as their schedule and required clinical rotations permit.

Generally, students who have received RIDR funding in prior years are no longer eligible to receive funding through this program.

What support is available?

Participation includes a stipend commensurate with trainee education level. High school, college students, and medical students participating in the RIDR program will receive a stipend of $2400, $3200, and $4000, respectively. 

When does the program take place?

The research program takes place during the summer. The start date is flexible and students may begin their program any time between June 1st and July 1st.

Is the stipend taxable?

Under the Internal Revenue Code, income received as a stipend is generally included in gross income for federal income tax purposes. Students are responsible for establishing the amount of their taxable income and for making any required payments of estimated tax.

Are health insurance or housing provided?

No, neither health insurance nor housing is provided through this program.

What about COVID-19?

COVID-19 disrupted so many aspects of normal life throughout 2020, but our department’s commitment to promoting diversity persevered and our faculty worked hard to convert the summer research and career development experience to an online only format in 2020, and to a hybrid experience in 2021 & 2022. We are hopeful that we will be able to go back to our pre-pandemic 100% in-person program for Summer 2023, in which case we will be unable to offer separate remote-only experiences, unless otherwise agreed upon with assigned mentor. This will be determined once students are accepted and will be based off the availability and scope of mentor projects. 

How do I apply?

A complete application must include the following uploaded components in addition to the online application:

  1. Personal statement: Please describe any previous experiences in medical research and discuss why you are interested in radiology research. Please also give a sense of your short-term career plans. Do not exceed 500 words.
  2. Current CV
  3. Current transcript (For high school or college students)
  4. Letter of recommendation: This should be from a teacher or faculty member who can comment on your academic performance and potential for clinical research. Please notify your reference well in advance of the deadline. Once you have submitted your application, your reference will receive an e-mail asking them to submit their recommendation through the online application site.

Applications for the Summer 2024 cycle are now closed. The portal will reopen for the Summer 2025 cycle in December 2024.

How can I obtain additional information?

For further information about the RIDR program, please email [email protected].

The UCSF RIDR program was one of the highlights of my time in medical school. Though I knew I had an interest in radiology, I had never done research in the field. Being a part of the RIDR program was an incredible opportunity to learn more about some of the questions at the forefront of radiology, while doing research at a top-tier university surrounded by students and faculty who were dynamic and encouraging."

Simona Morochnik, RIDR Class of 2019
Medical student, University of Illinois, Chicago, College of Medicine