About the Program

The UMB CURE Scholars Program is a groundbreaking program that prepares sixth- to 12th-grade students in Baltimore for competitive, lucrative, and rewarding research and health care careers at UMB and other health institutions in the region.

In October 2015, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) launched the pilot year of the UMB CURE Scholars Program by collaborating with three partner schools in the Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) system.

What is the CURE Program?

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program was established by the NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) in 1999 to help support underrepresented students in biomedical research and career development. CURE utilizes a pipeline approach and provides career navigation, workforce training, and mentorship to diverse scholars at all stages of academic and career development. The CURE program is driven by a mission to build a diverse biomedical workforce, which is critical to addressing the health needs of all Americans and eliminating cancer health disparities in the nation. 

What's different about the UMB CURE Scholars Program?


‌The UMB CURE Scholars Program is the first of its kind to attract middle school students into the National Cancer Institute's CURE pipeline and excite a future generation of health care providers and biomedical researchers. The UMB CURE Scholars Program operates in partnership with three West Baltimore public schools.

How does the program work?

In the fall of 2015, the UMB CURE Scholars Program accepted its first group of sixth-grade scholar applicants from three West Baltimore public schools: Franklin Square Elementary and Middle School; Green Street Academy; and Southwest Baltimore Charter School.

Scholars are mentored by UMB graduate and professional students; UMB faculty and staff; participating BCPS school faculty; community and business leaders; undergraduates and graduate students from neighboring Baltimore universities; and NCI-funded researchers and former CURE Scholars. Mentoring occurs throughout the scholars' middle school, high school, and college careers.

The program is designed to offer selected scholars a 5:1 mentor-to-scholar ratio with an after-school component, Saturday tutoring component, and six-week Summer Enrichment component. Selected students are exposed to rich scientific environments to gain experience, academic enrichment, self-confidence, and motivation to pursue c‌areers in cancer research and health care.

UMB CURE Scholars Program details

UMB accepts 25 to 30 sixth-grade students each year who have an interest in science, are committed to participating in a long-term pipeline program through their college career, and meet the program application requirements.

Support from parents/families, schools, mentors, and community partners is essential to the scholars' success. Families, schools, and communities work together to provide a holistic network of support for our UMB CURE Scholars throughout their middle school, high school, and college careers.

Our goals
  • Expose sixth- to 12th-grade UMB CURE Scholars from West Baltimore to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs.
  • Explore the endless possibilities of STEM careers and benefit from a pipeline of career development and training programs that will help pave the way for long-term success.
  • Excite a new generation to work as health care providers and biomedical researchers.
  • Inspire UMB CURE Scholars and their families to set high expectations for success in the program, their futures, and within their communities.
Benefits for UMB CURE Scholars and families
  • Participate in hands-on science workshops, field trips, and exciting experiments.
  • Get ongoing mentoring (while in the program and in college).
  • Work on Chromebooks, get tutoring, and have fun, while learning.
  • Take advantage of parental workforce training/certification opportunities.
  • Get funding for college and graduate school.

Become a Scholar

Are you a rising sixth-grader? Do you know someone who would be interested in the UMB CURE Scholars Program? Become a UMB CURE scholar!

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