Diversity and inclusivity is central to the intellectual excellence, experience, and mission that is BBS and Harvard Medical School. We are dedicated to recruiting and mentoring a community of scholars that reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of our society. We are committed to expanding the pool of talented students who apply to BBS. To discuss your choice of the BBS Program to pursue Ph.D. training, please reach out to the BBS Program Director, David Van Vactor, or BBS Associate Director, Monica Colaiacovo, and/or the Minority Biomedical Students at Harvard (MBSH), where you can link up with present minority students for informal conversations about life at Harvard Medical School and in Boston. As well, always available is Dr. Sheila Thomas, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Minority Affairs and BBS Faculty member.

BBS Diversity Statistics

  • From 2000 to the present, 262 individuals from traditionally under-represented groups have earned their Ph.D. degrees in the Division of Medical Sciences programs, of which BBS is the largest program.
  • About half of these 262 graduates who are members of underrepresented minority groups are continuing in research training or in research careers at institutions such as Washington University, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control, Harvard, Rockefeller, Scripps Research Foundation, or the University of Miami.
  • Many others are continuing research in industrial settings at places like Genentech, Pfizer, or Millennium (Takeda) Pharmaceuticals.
  • Several are completing MD/PhD training, or are in residency or fellowship training at such sites as the University of Washington, UCSF, Johns Hopkins, Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals, Northwestern, or Columbia University.
  • Others have entered careers in the fields of science writing, educational software engineering, science policy, consulting, and patent law.
  • About 17% of current BBS students identify themselves as members of underrepresented minority groups.
  • ~49% of current BBS students are women
  • ~28% of BBS faculty are women
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Recruitment and Outreach


We invite you to connect with us to learn more about our programs, the admissions process, and how to prepare a strong application. Our travels bring us to campuses, educational events and conferences accross the country. We look forward to meeting you! Click here for our complete travel schedule  


There are many summer internship opportunties for high school and undergraduate students at Harvard.  We've highlighted a few below and a complete list can be found HERE.


The GSAS Research Scholar Initiative is a non-degree granting post-baccalaureate program that provides mentored research and training for individuals interested in pursuing doctoral studies. In the program, research scholars work with a Harvard faculty member as a research assistant, participate in professional development seminars, and receive GRE preparation support. In addition, scholars may take undergraduate and/or graduate coursework in preparation for doctoral studies.