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Duke Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE)

Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education

Co-Principal Investigators:

  • Sherilynn Black, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Medical Education; Director, Office of Graduate Biomedical Diversity; School of Medicine
  • Daniel Lew, Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
  • Dorian Canelas, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Chemistry

Program Director: Devyn Gillette


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BioCoRE program co-PI Sherilynn Black.

The Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE) is an institution-wide program designed to unify and enrich the bioscience community across the School of Medicine, The Graduate School, Trinity College, and the Pratt School of Engineering. BioCoRE is dedicated to increasing diversity and growing an inclusive environment for the biosciences community at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The program engages undergraduates, graduate students and faculty in a supportive community of scientists excited about the biosciences, and provides opportunities for student research and career development for all participants.

BioCoRE offers a wide variety of scientific programs, including community-building activities, paid research opportunities, conference travel, symposia, and seminars that benefit all student and faculty BioCoRE members. The program is funded by an NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development award and supported by Duke University. Currently in the first cycle of its grant, BioCoRE has more than 100 undergraduate and graduate student scholars and more than 200 faculty affiliates.

Key benefits of Duke BioCoRE include:

For undergraduate students:

  • Targeted academic and career advising
  • Academic programming
  • Extended research experiences
  • Capstone thesis support
  • Scientific conference travel
  • Scientific community engagement

For graduate students:

  • One-month stipend in Early Start
  • Academic and career programming
  • Scientific conference travel
  • Enhanced scientific community programming
  • Synergy with individual Graduate Programs (including T32s)

For faculty:

  • High-quality undergraduate and graduate students in labs
  • Additional faculty-student mentor relationships
  • Community engagement activities
  • Academic enrichment activities
  • Research and profile highlighted on BioCoRE web site


“BioCoRE has made it possible to tear down the imaginary walls that sometimes separate students from professors, thus creating a healthier and two-way relationships between students and professors. BioCoRE has become my second home here at Duke and it has allowed me access to other students, professors and resources on campus which I would have never had and this has greatly enhanced my graduate school career.”

“Not all students who want to be scientists know anything about the nuts and bolts of obtaining a Ph.D. in science. If they haven’t grown up with a Ph.D. in their family, chances are the whole process is a mystery and the ‘invisible’ skills and networking needed to succeed are not obvious. The BioCoRE program recognizes this situation hits minority candidates particularly hard, and is finding ways to incorporate this scientific cultural capital intentionally into Ph.D. education.”