Access to Careers in Engineering and Sciences (ACES) & Biomedical Research Innovation Gateway for Health Technologies (BRIGHT)

As a premier research and teaching institution, UCI is dedicated to serving a diverse population at the highest levels. This requires attracting and graduating scholars who reflect the communities of the world.

Like many universities nationally, UCI is faced with the challenge of attracting large numbers of minority students to pursue doctoral degrees. African American and Black students are extremely underrepresented in graduate and professional programs.

The Access to Careers in Engineering and Sciences (ACES) and Biomedical Research Innovation Gateway for Health Technologies (BRIGHT) initiatives seek to address this challenge. The approach goes beyond traditional recruiting efforts to reach those who otherwise might not have considered graduate school.

Every summer, 8-10 talented undergraduate students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are selected to travel across the country to attend ACES and BRIGHT, eight-week summer training programs at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic and the UCI Samueli School of Engineering. The programs introduce high-achieving, underrepresented students to the breadth of UCI graduate programs in the fields of biomedical engineering, biophotonics, chemistry, chemical engineering and other related science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

HBCU students:

  • work alongside faculty mentors who are leaders in their field
  • conduct leading-edge research in Institute facilities and labs
  • learn about careers in academia and industry
  • attend workshops on taking the GRE, writing a personal statement and preparing for graduate school
  • make connections valuable to gaining admission to graduate school

By supporting ACES and BRIGHT, you foster a more inclusive environment in higher education, while making a significant impact on the lives of students nationwide.

A gift of:

  • $100 supports one student’s culminating research presentation
  • $500 supports one student’s lab summer research supplies
  • $1,000 supports one student’s travel expenses
  • $1,500 supports one student’s summer campus dining hall meals
  • $5,000 supports one student’s eight-week student stipend
  • $15,000 supports one participant, covering all program expense

Click here to visit the University of California (UC) HBCU ACES and BRIGHT website.

For more information, please contact Sari Mahon, associate director, at 949.824.3924 or