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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A: Biostatistics refers the application of mathematical and statistical methods to the biological and medical sciences. 

A: The goal of CUBE is to offer underrepresented undergraduate students an experience working with a real-world dataset under the mentorship of experienced data scientists and clinical experts, to help them determine if they want to pursue a career in collaborative data science, and to provide them with professional development skills for the workplace or for graduate school. 

A:  No, you do not need to be a Virginia Tech or University of Virginia student. The CUBE program will support students from all colleges and universities provided that they are US citizens or permanent residents of the US.

A: Applications for CUBE 2024 open on November 27th, 2023  and are due in full by March 1st , 2024. See How to Apply for more details about Program Eligibility and Expectations. 

A: Students should expect to dedicate at least 40 hours per week to the program both during and outside of the regular 9am-5pm hours to ensure final deliverables (e.g., weekly homework assignments, abstracts, etc) are completed on time. 

A:  A completed application package includes general information about the applicant, an up-to-date unofficial transcript and GPA, a personal statement, and two references from faculty members at your current institution, or mentors from a professional setting.  Upon submitting the application, the individuals listed as references will be automatically emailed a survey link where they can fill out a short reference form and upload a formal letter of recommendation (optional). Recommenders will receive multiple reminders on a bi-weekly basis to ensure that they are submitting prior to the application deadline.

A:  No, CUBE students are not required to have health insurance.

A:  The CUBE undergraduate dates for 2024 are Monday, June 3rd, 2024 to Friday, July 26th, 2024. See Important Dates and Deadlines for more details. 

A:  Applications for CUBE undergraduates are due in full by March 1st, 2024. You will be notified if selected for the program by the end of March 2024. If accepted into the program, you will have one week to accept or decline.

A: Yes, you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or higher, and must have completed a course in introductory statistics or biostatistics. See How to Apply for more details about Program Eligibility and Expectations. 

A: Yes, but preference will go towards undergraduate rising seniors who will not be graduating before the start of the program. However, others are considered based on their application package. For more information about Program Eligibility and Expectations, please visit How to Apply

A: Yes, however, preference will be given to students majoring in STEM. Non-STEM students should provide a clear explanation in their application materials as to why they are applying to the CUBE program and how it fits their future academic or career goals. 

A: On a typical day in the CUBE program, students arrive at 9 AM to their assigned workspace. Throughout the morning, students will attend sessions learning biostatistics and R programming. They will have an hour break at noon for lunch. Typical afternoon sessions include professional development sessions, networking events, and/or research lab tours. Students will usually have time in the afternoon for independent work, such as homework or their collaborative research project. A typical day wraps up at 5 PM, at which point students depart from their workspace. On busier weeks, students may be expected to work after 5pm to finish any upcoming deliverables.

A:  No. Unfortunately, you must be a US Citizen or a permanent resident of the US to apply given the federal funding from the NIH that supports this program. For more information about Program Eligibility and Expectations, please visit How to Apply

A: Students will receive a $4,800 stipend, which is taxable to the student, at the beginning of the program. CUBE will cover housing expenses and expenses for social outings associated with the program. Students are responsible for their own food/meals.

A:  Two faculty members at your current institution that know you well and can speak to your potential for a career in a science-related field. These can be faculty members that have previously mentored you in their laboratory or have taught you in a course.

Upon submitting the application, the individuals listed as references will be automatically emailed a survey link to fill out a short reference form and to upload a formal letter of recommendation (optional). Students will not be manually submitting or uploading their own reference forms or letters.

A: The CUBE steering committee will select applicants based on their application materials, including GPA, personal statement, references from faculty members, and commitment to a career in science. 

A: Students at either site will stay in a shared furnished apartment with a full kitchen. At the VT site, students will stay at the historic  Patrick Henry Hotel in Downtown Roanoke, whereas students at the UVA site will stay at the Bice Apartments on UVA’s campus in Charlottesville, VA. 

A:  You may contact Alicia Lozano at

A:  Yes, there will be orientation sessions and general instruction during the first few days of the program.

A:  No, there is no fee to apply to the CUBE program. For more information about applying to the program, see How to Apply

A: Students are expected to dress business casual while in the office/in their given workspace. Students should also be prepared to dress in business professional attire for the final project presentations and research symposiums at the end of the program.

A: Students will be hosted and mentored either by faculty and staff at Virginia Tech’s Health Sciences and Technology campus in Roanoke, VA or at the University of Virginia located in Charlottesville, VA. For more details about the mentors at each site, please visit our mentor bio page

A: CUBE 2024 is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) NIDA/NIAAA institutes under award number 1R25DA058482-01, AbbVie, as well as by Virginia Tech’s College of Science, and UVA’s Department of Public Health Sciences’ Division of Biostatistics.

No. If selected, CUBE interns commit to participating in the full 8-week program. Students may not take vacation or be enrolled in any other courses during this training period. No exceptions will be made. Students will be expected to be in office 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday, excluding federal holidays.

A: Students will each be assigned a collaborative project under the guidance of the Biostatistics Mentors and Collaborative Project Mentors at each site over the course of the program. Before the start of the program, the Biostatistics Mentors and Collaborative Projects Mentors at each site will meet to evaluate the feasibility of projects to be completed in 8 weeks, and to assign participants to their collaborative projects. Participants at each site will work either individually or in groups of two, depending on the scope and size of the project. 

Through this project, participants will use the knowledge gained in the other three pillars of the program (Introductory Biostatistics, Introductory R Programming, Professional Development) to navigate the steps of the research cycle. Please refer to our Past CUBE Projects for details on projects from previous years of CUBE. You can also find more information on CUBE's whereabouts on the CUBE News page.

A:  All CUBE students are paid via direct deposit over the span of the program, although payment schedules differ according to site due to University-specific regulations. At the Virginia Tech site, students are paid in three equal installments of $1600. Students at the University of Virginia site are paid on a biweekly basis, with roughly 4 payments of $1200. Note that this may be subject to change from year to year.