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The UWF Biology Coquina Research Experience (UWF Bio-CoRE) is an NSF-funded program created specifically for incorporating undergraduate research in the teaching labs to gain real-world research skills.

UWF BIO-CoRE Summer Bridge Program is a three-week paid research program specifically designed for transfer students and to help transfer students easily transition into the Biology department by establishing research skills and developing strategies for academic and career success.

UWF BIO-CoRE Summer Bridge Program benefits will include:

  • Training and development of research skills that can be used to bolster students’ resumes
  • Introduction and networking with UWF Biology faculty and staff
  • Lectures and laboratories that will allow students to get a head start on UWF courses
  • Discussion and group activities designed to improve student success
  • Providing a supportive environment to develop strategies for post-transfer success at UWF


Program Directors: Dr. Peter Cavnar and Dr. Hui-Min Chung

Program Dates: July 19th - August 6th, 2021

Application Deadline: June 20th, 2021

Acceptance Notification: June 21st, 2021

Questions: E-mail Dr. Peter Cavnar

2018 BIO-CoRE Students Collecting

As part of BIO-CoRE you will able to travel to Pensacola Beach to collect coquina clams. 

2018 BIO-CoRE Students Collecting

Work in team to study the genetics and cell biology of the coquina clam.

2018 BIO-CoRE Students Conducting Research

As part of BIO-CoRE you will learn how to perform research on the coquina clam

2018 BIO-CoRE Students Conducting Research

In BIO-CoRE you will be trained on genetic and cell biology techniques that will give you an advantage in your upcoming courses. 

Additional Information

Eligibility Requirements for UWF BIO-CoRE Summer Bridge Program:
All University of West Florida (UWF) current or incoming transfer students who have declared a major in General Biology, Marine Biology, Biomedical Sciences, UWF-Teach, and Zoo Sciences are eligible for the summer bridge program. Space is limited to a maximum of 10 students.

Participation Requirements for UWF BIO-CoRE Summer Bridge Program:
Students must be a current UWF transfer student (transfer to UWF in summer 2020 or after), have been admitted or accepted admission for fall semester. In order to be eligible for the full stipend, students must attend all days of the three-week program. The selection of participants will not be based only on academic achievements but by a holistic review of applicants’ past accomplishments and future career goals. We assume that all students who are admitted into this University have the potential to be highly successful college students and that all students will benefit the UWF BIO-CoRE programs.

Students who register will be informed whether or not we are able to accommodate them no later than June 22. The remaining applicants will be placed on a waitlist. Failure to attend parts of the summer bridge program will result in loss of stipend and removal from the program.

UWF BIO-CoRE Summer Bridge Program Schedule

The summer bridge program will begin on Monday, July 19th, 2021, and end on August 6th, 2021. The program will be held Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Each day will encompass a mix of seminars, networking events, research experiments, and more. Some of the research topics that participants will learn are:

  • Lab notebook and experimental design skills
  • Coquina dissection and tissue analysis
  • Wet lab skills on coquina gut microbiota culturing
  • Molecular techniques (PCR and Bioinformatics)
  • Protein isolation and characterization
  • Fluorescence microscopy and cellular analysis

Payment and Stipends
This program is completely free for participants. Students who complete the bridge program will receive a $700 stipend that will be disbursed upon successful completion of the program in the form of a direct deposit to the student’s UWF account.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

No, as per the sample schedule most activities will cover only part of the day. There is no requirement for housing at UWF. However, if you are interested in living on campus during the bridge program, UWF Housing does offer summer options. Please visit the UWF Housing website for more information about rates. 

No, as part of the bridge program some activities will take place at Pensacola Beach and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Transportation will be provided to and from all bridge activity sites.

August in Florida means high temperatures outside and in many buildings, very cool temperatures inside. Bring a jacket or sweatshirt. You may also want a raincoat or umbrella. Also, there will be a laboratory session during which you will be required to wear close-toed shoes.

For events that take place at Pensacola Beach and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, we recommend wearing shorts or a swimsuit. Activities will take place at the shoreline. Please make sure to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water for protection.

Yes! To be eligible for the stipend, participants must successfully complete all sessions in the three-week summer bridge program. In addition, your success at UWF can be helped significantly with your enthusiastic participation in all activities.

All materials required for participation in the summer bridge program will be provided to you free of charge. Participants need to provide their own transportation to UWF. Some activities may take place over mealtimes (lunch), so participants are welcome to bring their own snack or food. Meals will not be provided as part of the program.

All lectures and laboratory exercises are intended to prepare you for your first semester at UWF and enhance your research skills. None of the work during the bridge program is intended to be for a grade, only for practice and development of research skills.

No, the UWF BIO-CoRE summer bridge program is restricted to UWF transfer students declaring Biology as a major. However, all students who take PCB3103L (Cell Biology Lab) and PCB3063C (Genetics Lab) will participate in future research activities as part of the overall UWF BIO-CoRE program. In addition, if you are an incoming FTIC student, we offer a Biology Bootcamp summer program.