BUILD Research Collaboratory (BRC)

Latest News: Nature April 2021.

Sign Ups Closed on May 14, 2021.

For participating students this summer, visit VBRC 2021.

In response to COVID-19, our team is holding an 6-week course in basic bioinformatics coding open to current NIH BUILD students nationwide. The summer experience will use an online structured near peer mentoring framework. This means that each trainee will be part of a small mentoring group, and that they will work with a master's student to learn basic R coding, and to examine research questions. The theme will be COVID-19 resilience and resistance.

Interested in becoming a near-peer mentor? Tap here for more information.

Are you running a summer program? Tap here for consultation and resources


Where can we sign up?

Sign ups closed on May 14, 2021.  Follow us on Instagram or Twitter @sfbuild to get the latest updates.

When will this program take place?

The program will take place online from 06/21/2021 to 07/28/21.

What are the hours for this summer experience?

The hours of BRC will be from 10am-1pm Monday-Thursday.

Where will this all take place?

This program will take place online using Zoom and other online technology.

Who is participating?

Current NIH BUILD Students from any of the 10 NIH BUILD sites.

Do scholars need R or coding skills before this program?

NO PRIOR CODING EXPERIENCE NEEDED. All current NIH- BUILD students, regardless of their prior skills with R coding, is welcome to join the course. The course will accommodate a variety of learners at a range of skills and abilities. All are welcome. We are currently not accepting graduates (BUILD alumni). However, we have a waiting list if there are graduates who may be interested.

If a student is already doing research in an active lab, should they join BRC? 

We encourage any NIH-BUILD scholars who are paired with a mentor and who are able to continue their ongoing research at their own site to continue and not participate with our program.

Who would the ideal candidates be for this program?

The ideal candidate is a newly selected BUILD student (not yet paired) or students who are engaged in research that is halted due to COVID-19. We would request students in the latter scenario to communicate early with their research supervisors/mentors that they are joining BRC for the summer only, and that they plan to RETURN to their primary lab as soon as it is safe or possible. If this occurs during BRC, we request that the student finish the 6-week BRC program.

Who are the Near Peer Mentors?

The Near Peer Mentors are master's level students who have skills in near-peer facilitation and R-coding/public health/bioinformatics. We are recruiting master's level students who may want to serve as near peer mentors. If you are interested in becoming a BRC near peer mentor, please fill out this interest form starting April 15.

What skills are students expected to develop during the summer?

Population health science concepts, data collection from publicly available data sets, data analysis training with R, writing, presentation and communication skills.

Will faculty at other sites play a role?

For each site that participates in BRC, we will identify a key point person at each site. We recognize that faculty at other sites would like to maintain and enhance their relationships with students, especially newly selected trainees. Therefore, we are working on the means to include others. 

Who are key contacts if I have any questions?

The Director of the BRC is Dr. Kala Mehta of the University of California at San Francisco's (UCSF) Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dr. Mehta is the Student Training Core (STC) Lead for the SF BUILD Program. 

Faculty Resources

Are you interested in designing for inclusitivity and agency?

To sign up for a technical assistance workshop from the vBRC team on designing for inclusivity, please contact Kala Mehta at

Faculty Toolbox available soon.


Last Updated: June 8, 2021