• Any USC faculty member who conducts research at USC and its affiliated organizations is eligible.See “What else do I need to know?” below:

    • You will be required to complete annual training for the protection of minors/youth.
    • You will be required to clear a background check through LiveScan (fingerprinting).
    • You will be required to have at least one other adult (collaborator or member of your lab) co-mentor the student with you [and they must complete the same training and background checks]).
  • Any research that connects with understanding the human body and human health is eligible. This is defined in a broad sense and includes studies of biomedical materials, instruments or methods development, computational or animal models of disease, cinematic investigations of scientific data or methods, as well as human health topics. Research projects in geology, plant science, green energy, astronomy, marine science, etc. are NOT eligible for participation in the BUGS Jr program.

    Note: The Department of Animal Resources (DAR) has an age restriction mandating that individuals working with animals in research must be at least 18 years old, even if accompanied by an adult/Principal Investigator.

  • All projects are conducted in person at USC and affiliated campuses, with an allowance for some hybrid (partly online; partly in person) participation.

    Strictly virtual/online-only projects will NOT be included in the 2024 BUGS Jr Program.

  • The BUGS Jr program typically runs from mid-June through the first Saturday in August (~7 weeks). The program culminates in a finale summer symposium at which the students are introduced to the symposium attendees by their mentor and present their research results in a poster session; symposium attendees include faculty/mentors/colleagues, as well as fellow students and family members/guests. We hope you will attend and participate in the symposium too.

  • All student participants in the BUGS Jr program receive an $800 stipend for their summer work. Faculty may agree to support 50% ($400) of the stipend from their own research funds *or* faculty may accept the student to conduct summer research contingent on their receipt of a matching-funds fellowship (administered by the Bridge). All student applicants will be considered for this fellowship; if the student is selected for the fellowship, the faculty member will not be charged for the stipend (even if they initially agreed to cover that cost). Additionally, the faculty member must support all related materials/supply expenses needed to conduct the proposed research.

  • Sunday, April 21, 2024: (Student) BUGS Jr Applications due via Qualtrics.
    Students (and their Parent/Guardian) will automatically receive an email via Qualtrics confirming the application submission. Any updates or changes to the submitted application should be emailed to bugsprogram@usc.edu and NOT submitted as a new application.

    Wednesday, May 8, 2024: BUGS Jr Faculty/Mentor Contracts due via Qualtrics.

    Wednesday, May 1, 2024 – Monday, May 20, 2024: Offers of provisional acceptance in the 2024 BUGS Jr Summer Research Program are emailed to the Student and their Parent/Guardian.

    Full acceptance in the BUGS Jr Program is contingent upon:

    • Satisfactory Completion of the USC General Laboratory Safety Training Course.
    • Return of completed BUGS Jr Student Contract Forms.
    • If the student is under 18 years of age, contracts must also be signed by parent/guardian.
    • Completion of CampDoc health and registration requirements. If the student is under 18 years of age, CampDoc materials must be provided by a legal parent/guardian.

    Monday, June 17, 2024: BUGS Jr Summer Research Program begins.

    Thursday, August 1; Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3, 2024: BUGS/BUGS Jr Summer Research Finale Symposium (schedule to be determined – students should be available for full period).

  • You will be required to release the student from research activities to allow them to participate in mandatory weekly programmatic activities (planned for 2 hours, one morning each week).

    Critical details about USC’s Working with Minors Policies (https://policy.usc.edu/protecting-minors/):

    • Because all one-on-one interactions between a Covered Activity (BUGS Jr Program) Staff person and a Minor must be observable and interruptible by another Covered Activity Staff member (except under emergency circumstances), you must identify at least one additional lab member (faculty, staff, postdoc, or grad student) to participate with you in the research activities with the student for the duration of the summer program.
    • Faculty mentors (and their lab members) working with a child/minor (<18 yo) must complete (annual) USC mandated training for interacting with minors and reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. This training is available through Praesidium Academy, please see the Praesidium Academy Quick Start Guide; the “Duty to Report: Mandated Reporter Training” generally takes under 30 minutes (depending on your reading speed and engagement in note taking). Additional training modules may also be useful/informative, but are not strictly required including “Meet Sam” (~10 minutes) and “It Happened to Me” (~10 minutes).
    • YOU (as “the” faculty mentor) have a “Duty to Report” knowledge or suspicions of child abuse or neglect. Specific information and instructions are outlined in the faculty contract.

    To comply with California Bus. & Prof. Code § 18975 (a new state law that went into effect on January 1, 2022), USC’s Protecting Minors policy requires that anyone who will have direct contact with minors in a covered activity undergo a fingerprint-based background check. As such, USC requires personnel working in covered activities to be screened through the Live Scan process.

    Live Scan Instructions (for USC-sponsored covered activities only – NOT for third parties):

    1. Review the instructions for completing the Live Scan application form, which is the form you’ll need to bring with you when getting fingerprinted.
    2. Use the instructions as a guide to complete the prepopulated USC Live Scan application form and make 2 copies. Note that the pre-populated Live Scan application form cannot be used by third parties.
    3. To avoid paying fees out of pocket (does not apply to third parties), make an appointment at the following Live Scan location
      – MR. Fingerprints located at 617 S Olive St. Ste 807 Los Angeles, CA 90014; or
      – Attend free, on-campus fingerprinting sessions with a Live Scan operator which are occasionally scheduled by USC. If you have a large group (50+), we can help schedule a visit specifically for your covered activity staff when possible.
    4. Bring the completed application form and a government-issued ID, such as a U.S. Driver’s License, U.S. passport or foreign passport with U.S. visa, to the Live Scan location.
    5. In the event these options do not accommodate your staff, they may choose another location; however, please note that reimbursement may not cover all associated fees, and/or there may be a delay in receiving funds. For alternative Live Scan locations, including associated fees, refer to the California Department of Justice’s Live Scan locator tool.

Interested in working together or have an idea to share?

Bridge Institute

Main Number:

Bridge Undergraduate Science Program

(BUGS and BUGS Jr. Programs)