Thank you for your interest in the Young Innovators Program! Before starting an application, carefully review the eligibility criteria and instructions.

The application for the 2018 Young Innovators Program is now closed.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the Young Innovators Program, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Authorized to work in the U.S. at the time your application is submitted.
  2. Must be 16 years of age by the program start date.
  3. Able to participate in the full 8-weeks, which will run from June 18 through August 10, 2018. If you have questions about our absence policy please contact Mieke Lynch at
  4. You must be able to arrange your own transportation to and from campus Monday-Friday throughout the duration of the program. While we encourage students from across North Carolina to apply, if you are not within commuting distance, you must be able to arrange your own living accommodations for the summer. If you have questions about transportation and accommodations please contact Mieke Lynch at


The Young Innovators Program consists of the following sections. Please note that all components of the application must be submitted at the same time.

Basic Information

 Areas of Interest:

Please list your top three areas of interest (most interested to least interested) from the following options:

Our work focuses on discovering new therapeutic agents and targets. Thousands of compounds researched here at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy have the potential for therapeutic applications impacting many disease targets, such as enzymes, specific drug receptors, and even the genome.

We are engaged in research around targeted drug delivery that will ensure optimal therapeutic efficacy of pharmacologically and immunologically active agents. It is a multidisciplinary endeavor requiring knowledge in basic pharmaceutics, chemistry, biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, and pharmaceutical analysis.

We work to optimize drug therapy through the generation, integration, and translation of scientific information between the bench and the bedside, the patient and the population. We advance clinical practice through innovative translational research and through the education and training of clinical scientists, future pharmacists and current practitioners.

We support and advance the practice of pharmacy by providing innovative education and training experiences for pharmacists, both present and future, demonstrating professional leadership, modeling cutting-edge practice and engaging in practiced-based scholarship.

We study the effectiveness and costs of medications, how patients take their medications, and the impact of drug policies on health outcomes of vulnerable people. Our research focuses on health outcomes of patients with chronic medical conditions and the roles of pharmacists in medication therapy management.

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation accelerates the creation and development of innovative ideas leading to new discoveries and transformative changes in education, research, and health care. Through strategic collaborations inside and outside of the University of North Carolina, the EII helps create jobs and spur economic development in the state of North Carolina and beyond.

The Center for Innovation in Pharmacy Simulation (CIPS) develops technology tools to enhance all phases of education and pharmaceutical research including medication discovery, delivery, optimization, assessment, and practice. CIPS is also heading the UNC Virtual Patient project (nXhuman-Mk 1), a transformative effort to create a cutting-edge technology platform that will accelerate student learning and improve real-world patient care through the application of pharmacologic and therapeutic knowledge. nXhuman will enable students to learn and observe how pathophysiology and drug action underlie the impact of their decisions on simulated patients over a simulated time period. This software platform is currently in development and early usability testing.

Personal Statement:

The personal statement is should be a one-page essay that states your interest in the Young Innovators Program and outlines why you are uniquely qualified to participate in this program.

The essay should be no more than one page in length and uploaded as a PDF. Please include your full name and high school in the header and format your essay as follows:

  • Font: 12 pt. Times New Roman
  • Spacing: Single or exactly 12 pt.
  • Margins: 1 inch


Please list your recent academic and non-academic extracurricular activities, community service participation, and leadership roles, as well as any awards you have received. You can also use this section to expand on any relevant details that you feel may be missing from the application. Please upload your resume as a PDF.

High School Transcript:

Your transcript must reflect all grades and your current GPA (an unofficial transcript is acceptable). Home-schooled students are required to submit equivalent documentation. Please upload your transcript as a PDF.

Teacher Recommendation:

Please provide the name and contact information of a teacher that can attest to your academic strengths, personal character, and interest in STEM. If you are selected to participate in an interview with the selection committee, we will reach out to your teacher directly and request a recommendation.

Once all applications are received, the selection committee will convene to review and score all applications. Select students will then be invited to participate in a brief 20-minute phone interview with the Program Coordinator. Interviews will be scheduled in early April 2018.

Students will be notified of acceptance/non-acceptance by April 20, 2018. Selected students are required to declare if they accept their selection by the end of April 2018.