B3 (B-cubed) — Biology & Biotechnology Bridge Program

B-cubed students

B3 (B-Cubed) is a uniquely-structured two-year Post-Baccalaureate program offered to qualified college graduates by MIT and its Biotech Partners to provide additional research training and academic enrichment in preparation for graduate school. The academic training takes place at MIT and the research training takes place at a local biotech or Pharmaceutical company.



The goal of this two-year program is to provide additional research and academic preparation to talented and driven individuals from minority groups and economically-disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare them for competitive PhD programs in the biological and biomedical sciences. Individuals in a non-biology major or with limited academic or research opportunities at their undergraduate institutions are encouraged to apply. The academic portion of the program will take place at MIT, while the research training portion will take place at local biotech companies.


The MIT Department of Biology seeks qualified students for its two-year B3 program.

  • Science, Math or Engineering major.
  • Strong academic record (minimum GPA of 3.3 out of 4.0 scale).
  • Graduate from a US-accredited college or university within 12 month of the start of the program.
  • Some prior experience in basic research.
  • Strong reference letters from academic and research mentors.
  • From an under-represented minority group, or from an economically disadvantaged background, PELL grant recipient or first generation college student.

Students in MARC, MBRS, STEM or McNAir programs are encouraged to apply.

For more information please contact Dr. Mandana Sassanfar, Director of Outreach Programs, at bcubed@mit.edu.


Participants will have an academic mentor (an MIT faculty member) and a research mentor (a scientist in the Biotech industry). The program is based on a 70% research effort in a local Biotech company and 30% academic enrichment and preparation at MIT. The company will pay a competitive pro-rated salary where students will work in a challenging and supportive research environment. Tuition for classes at MIT will be covered. Applicants will also receive health insurance.

Course work

Course work will be tailored to each individual needs. Participants will take two courses per semester to build their skills and knowledge in:

  • Quantitative biology.
  • Critical reading and analysis of primary research literature.
  • Fundamental and advanced concepts in genetics, biochemistry and cell biology.

Each participant will be required to meet with their MIT faculty mentor on a bi-weekly basis, and present their research monthly to the B3 team.

Participants will prepare their graduate school application during the summer after completing their first year, take a GRE prep course, learn about the various aspect of the application process required for submitting a competitive application and having a successful interview, explore funding opportunities for graduate school, and learn about various careers available to Ph.D. degree holders.


Participants will conduct supervised research for two years at a host Biotech company (85% in the summer, 70% during the academic year) in one the following areas: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Infectious Diseases, Cancer, Musculo-skeletal Diseases, Biomarker Development, Developmental & Molecular Pathways, Chemistry, Imaging, Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics, Proteomic Chemistry, or Translational Medicine.


The application form and the faculty evaluation form (.doc format) can be downloaded.

The application deadline is February 24, 2013.
Applicants will need to submit:

  • 3 letters of recommendations from research and academic mentors who can elaborate on the applicant’ s intellect, skills, research experience, character and motivation for pursuing a PhD in the biological sciences
  • Official transcripts
  • A cover letter with a brief summary of past research experiences and career goals
  • An up-to-date CV

Competitive applicants will be interviewed by phone, and successful applicants will be notified by April 1, 2013. Participants will start orientation on July 2, 2013.

NOTE: This program is no longer accepting applications and will end in 2015.