Student Training Model

The BUILD EXITO Model begins working  students early in their undergraduate career and engages them in finding solutions to today's major health problems. Students gain the skills and support they need to pursue research careers in a variety of disciplines.

EXITO takes students through a research training program in two phases:

Phase 1 (Program Year 1) 

Invites students into a supportive environment with mentoring, professional development, and exposure to research and training.

Phase 2 (Program Years 2 and 3)

Give students hands-on research opportunities, broadly integrated curriculum, and a deepening of mentorship.


Summer Research Academy: In Program Year 1, EXITO scholars kick off their experience with a Summer Research Academy, focused on developing a science identity and making connections to professionals in the research field. 

Gateway to Research Course: Scholars take a required course in program year 1 that addresses research methods and the responsible conduct of research. 

Enrichment Sessions: EXITO scholars participate in weekly Enrichment sessions with curriculum that promotes their professional development and sharpens their research skills. 

Senior Capstone: In their senior year, EXITO scholars are expected to complete a capstone research project, thesis project, or other independent research project.


We offer each scholar developmentally integrated mentoring, meeting the multi-dimensional needs of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. 

Career Mentors are faculty members who offer advice on academic and career planning and goal setting throughout EXITO.

Peer Mentors are advanced students who facilitate connections to campus and help students navigate the student experience. 

Research Mentors help students to develop research knowledge and skills while making meaningful contributions to research projects in long-term placements in Research Learning Communities (Program Years 2 + 3). 


EXITO Center: We foster a culture of peer support and provide an on-campus program office “hub,” connecting students to project staff, an EXITO-specific academic advisor, and academic student resources such as tutoring and financial aid. We also have strong connections with campus cultural support and other activities and events related to research and learning opportunities in the community.



Research Learning Communities: A centerpiece of the BUILD EXITO program is the opportunity for scholars to gain research experience in program years 2 and 3. EXITO scholars engage with established principal investigators to participate in authentic research activities on externally-funded, faculty-directed studies across a range of health-related fields (e.g., biomedical, behavioral, social, clinical, and translational research).

These paid placements start with Summer Induction in Program Year 2 and continue through the next academic year, the next summer, and into the student’s senior year.