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Riback PharmD Summer Research Award

Riback for web.jpg

2018 Riback fellows at the 4th Annual Mini Symposium held on August 2, 2018.  From left to right: TiffanyWu, Sarette Tilton, Aleksandrina Ruseva, Sara Al Azmeh, So Jeong (Sydney) Kim, Miranda Kopfman, Maryam Naveed.

The Riback program is intended for highly motivated PharmD students interested in a research career in biomedical sciences.

The David J. Riback Research Pre-doctoral Fellowships in the UIC College of Pharmacy are funded by an endowment created by Aaron E. Kaplan (Baccalaureate of Science in Pharmacy, 1947) in honor of his uncle, David (Graduate in Pharmacy, 1927). Funds from this endowment support intensive, short-term research training for PharmD students under the supervision of a College of Pharmacy faculty mentor.

Program Description

The program runs for 10 weeks during the summer between May 16 - August 15 and provides a stipend of $5,000 for the student and additional $1,000 for supplies. Training includes hands-on research conducted in the laboratories or clinical practices of faculty members and additional research-related and enrichment activities coordinated with the SURF program.  Riback Fellows present their final research results in poster format during the SURF/Riback minisymposium in early August and during the annual College of Pharmacy Research Day held in the last week of February.

Check out our YouTube video of some of the 2017 Riback fellows talking about why they chose research at UIC, and download the flyer for the 2019 program here.

The 2019 Application Cycle is now open. Letters of Intent are due by Monday, March 4. 


  • Letter of Intent: Monday, March 4, 2019
  • Full Application: Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Note: You must have approval from your mentor before you can submit the letter of intent.


  • All currently enrolled P1 and P2 students are eligible to apply. P3 students will be given consideration (can’t be doing rotations during the summer Riback appointment).
  • Previous research experience is not necessary.
  • Both Undergraduate GPA and PharmD grades will be considered during the selection process.
  • Students should have a strong desire to pursue research.
  • Students are responsible for selecting a faculty mentor based on their research interests and future career goals.

General Research Areas in the College

  • Medicinal chemistry, computational medicinal chemistry, structural biology, synthetic medicinal chemistry, design and synthesis of drugs
  • Natural products, drug discovery, medical ethnobotany, biochemical and molecular toxicology, pharmaceutical biotechnology, antibiotic resistance, bacterial communication
  • Cancer biology, cancer pharmacology, regulation of tumor cell growth, cancer drug discovery
  • Biopharmaceutics, design, development and evaluation of drug delivery systems, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacy practice, pharmacogenomics, clinical studies, medication compliance, economic, clinical and quality-of-life outcomes, pharmaceutical policy, socioeconomic and cultural issues related to drug use

Selecting a Mentor

  • Browse College of Pharmacy departmental web pages to identify faculty members whose research interests you.
  • Discuss the research experience with former Riback Fellows
  • Visit poster presentations during the Research Day
  • Contact faculty members with whom you would like to work as soon as possible to find the best match
  • Contact if you need help

Application Process

Full application consists of 4 components:

  1. Research project description (1 page)
  2. Student statement (1.5 page)
  3. Undergraduate and professional transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient.
  4. Mentor statement/letter of recommendations (1 page)

Previous Recipients

To see the previous recipients, mentors and and projects, please visit the Previous Riback Awardees page.