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Summer Opportunities

Each year, a number of summer research/enrichment programs are held at various government agencies, universities, and pharmaceutical companies. Some of these programs are specifically tailored to underrepresented ethnic minorities and economically disadvantaged individuals. They are typically designed to supplement a student’s science education and/or offer exposure to the health profession field through clinical or research work. Listed below is a small sampling of off campus opportunities focusing on biomedical research. Information about off campus opportunities is posted on the Pre-Health Society listserv as soon as details become available.

GREAT group SURP programs: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Graduate Education, Training and Research (GREAT) maintains a website with links to its members' summer undergrad research programs (SURPs). These programs allow students to participate in cutting-edge research, and often offer a stipend, room and board, and travel allowance. The applicant pool is competitive, and you're encouraged to apply early.  Most deadlines for application are in January and February.

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates.

NIH Biomedical Research Summer Internship: Deadline: March 1.

Rochester Institute of Technology has co-op and internship listings arranged into categories, including a list for students who are not citizens of the US. Swarthmore College offers a clearinghouse of links to programs. A similar list is available from Syracuse University (although it hasn't been updated in a couple of years, some of the programs are still active).

SMDEP: The AAMC's Summer Medical and Dental Education Programs target first- and second-year college students. Each of the eleven programs has different entrance criteria; all are interested in students with a demonstrated interest in issues affecting underserved populations. Applications are competitive, and will begin accepting applications in December. has an option on their home page to find enrichment programs, many of which are summer programs.

Local Programs:

  • Health Careers Connection offers competitive internship placements at area hospitals and other medical facilities. The primary focus of HCC’s internship program is administrative or community health related exposure and project work, although there are often opportunities for clinically related exposure and projects.
  • Boston University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURP): 10 week research experience. Students receive a stipend, research supplies allowance, a travel subsidy, and housing in a BU apartment during the program. Application deadline: February.
  • Tufts University Sackler School offers 10 week summer internships for undergraduate students interested in pursuing research careers in the biomedical sciences. Stipend, housing. Application deadline: February 15.
  • MIT Summer Research Internship: The summer program is primarily designed to encourage students from under-represented minorities, first-generation college students, and students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds to attend graduate school and pursue a career in research. Stipend, housing, travel allowance provided. Application Deadline: January 30.
  • Mass. General Summer Research Trainee Program:  open to underrepresented minority students who have completed at least three years of college.  Students are paired with research mentors and work on projects.  Weekly seminars, opportunities to present research, and stipend are provided. Application deadline: March. (not yet updated for '08)
  • U Mass Medical School -- programs for minority and economically disadvantaged students
    • Summer Enrichment Program: The Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is a tuition-free four-week residential program for undergraduate sophomores and juniors interested in entering the health professions. The goals of the program are to help participants improve their qualifications and competitive standing for admission to professional, graduate and/or medical school.  Application deadline: March 15.
    • NIH Research Fellowship:  ten-week program pairs 18 participants with a research advisor/mentor. Housing, stipend and travel costs provided. Application deadline: March 16.
  • Boston College's Career Center has compiled an extensive list of area internships. Harvard's Office of Career Services also has some resources.
  • Harvard University Stem Cell Research Institute internship - 10 week, paid position. Deadline: February 15.
  • Novartis Summer Research Internship - in Cambridge, MA, full time, paid internship. Students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to work on a specific project under the guidance of a research mentor in a laboratory environment. In addition to research, interns participate in an intern-run journal club, seminar series and present their research at the end of the summer. Deadline: March 1.
  • Partners HealthCare is an umbrella organization for hospitals and other medical facilities in the Boston/Eastern MA area. You can search their career database for internships and temporary employment positions.
  • Boston Biomedical Research Institute - in Watertown, MA. BBRI is dedicated to basic biomedical research to promote the understanding, treatment and prevention of specific human diseases. 
  • Boston Schweitzer Fellows Volunteer Guide - a comprehensive source for volunteer opportunities in the area.
  • Camp Jabberwocky - an overnight camp on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the MA coast.  The camp is run for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities and runs for about eight weeks, from the end of June to the end of August.  Volunteer camp counselors are needed, and are responsible for the care of their camper, running activities, and general service to the camp as a whole.  Experience working with special needs children and adults is not necessary; orientation will be held prior to the start of each session, and most people have no experience before coming to camp.  Please contact Rachel Winter at if you have any questions or are interested in working at Jabberwocky.
  • The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is an overnight camp for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Both paid and volunteer positions are available for the summer.
  • Hepatitis B Initiative - HBI is a ten-year-old, non-profit, student-run organization that aims to reduce the incidence of hepatitis B in Boston, particularly Chinatown, Dorchester and Malden, where residents have 25 times greater incidence of the disease compared to the national average.
  • Joslin Summer Student Research Internship Program - provides 8-12 weeks of research experience under the supervision of Joslin research investigators. The goal of this program is to provide practical exposure to biomedical research, ranging from clinically focused to basic science investigation. $3000 stipend. Application Deadline: February 6. (not yet updated for '08)
  • Health Assistants in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program live on campus and assist with the day-to-day operation of the site health office, keep track of students’ medications and medical appointments, and accompany students on emergency room or physician visits as needed. Qualifications: First-aid, CPR training strongly desired; for insurance purposes, health assistants must be at least 21 years of age by the start of the summer session, and have a valid driver's license and good driving record. $2500 stipend plus room and board. Application available in early December.
  • The New England Primate Research Center offers a training program for students interested in neuroscience, microbiology, and a number of other areas. $12/hour salary, located 25 miles from Boston.  Application deadline: February 15.

New York Area Programs:

  • SUNY Albany, Wadsworth Center - Students are provided with travel costs, a food allowance and a stipend. Students are housed within walking distance of the labs. Applicants are sought who are majoring in a natural science (usually biological sciences or chemistry); who will have completed their second or third year of study by the summer; and who are interested in attending graduate school with the goal of pursuing a career in science. Application deadline: February 1.
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University - open to students who will be between their junior and senior years during the summer of 2007, and are majors in chemistry, biology, or a related field. Applicants must have a strong interest in pursuing a Ph.D. degree in biomedical investigative research. Application deadline: February 15.
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine - open to students completing their junior year. Travel allowance, housing and stipend provided. Application deadline: February 1.
  • Columbia U/Barnard College Amgen Scholars' Program - ten week program in biomedical research. $4000 stipend. Previous research experience not required.  Application deadline: February 1.
  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine - Stipend and housing provided. Applicants can be finishing their first-year through junior year, should have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be motivated towards research, and be inclined towards graduate education in biomedical sciences, especially in a PhD Program or MSTP (MD/PhD Program). Application deadline: February 1.
  • New York University School of Medicine - Stipend and housing provided. The program is designed for mature, well-qualified undergraduates who have completed their sophomore or junior year of college. Qualified applicants should have a 3.4 GPA or better and at least 1 full semester of bench laboratory research. Application deadline: February 1.
  • Howard Hughes Honors Summer Institute - affords undergraduates the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research in genomics, bioinformatics, and computational biology at New York University; designed for mature, well-qualified undergraduates who have completed their sophomore or junior year of college. Application Deadline: January 31.
  • Gerstner Sloan-Kettering SURP:  Designed for undergraduate freshmen, sophomores, or juniors who are contemplating a career in biomedically related sciences. Stipend and Housing provided. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.3. Application deadline: February 1.
  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University Travelers Summer Research Fellowship - open to juniors. Designed to give 25 premedical students deeper insights into the field of medicine, including issues that greatly affect the health of traditionally underserved groups through experience in laboratory or clinical research.  Stipend and housing provided.  Application deadline: February 1. (not yet updated for '08)
  • Cornell/Sloan-Kettering Access Summer Research Program - open to sophomores and juniors from underrepresented minority groups. Interns are given hands-on experience in a biomedical research laboratory and are encouraged to apply to Ph.D. programs. Application deadline: February 1.
  • NYC Health Research Training Program - Internships in the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene provide students with the opportunity to experience some of the "real life" challenges of public health. Most students work full-time for 10-12 weeks during the summer, and part-time during the academic year. Financial stipends are available on a limited basis. Some support may be available for those students in the Federal College Work/Study program. Application deadline: February 1.
  • Project AHEAD: Project Asian Health Education And Development (AHEAD) is an 8-week long summer program designed to provide training and experience for college students who are interested in pursuing a career in the health care field.  The program consists of a practical field placement, seminars and workshops, and participation in the development and completion of a community health project.  Application deadline: February 29.
  • Doctors without Borders: Learn about the organization by working with those who keep it running. Internships are unpaid, but work-study funds and/or course credit will be available for those who qualify.  Application deadline for summer: May 1.

Abroad Programs:

  • Syracuse University Comparative Health Policy & Law Internship - Comparative Health Policy and Law is a traveling course studying various issues in health policy and law as they are handled in London, Amsterdam, and Geneva. 
  • Save a Child's Heart - Israel Program - work with a Brandeis alum in a non-profit organization that provides urgently needed pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care for children from third world and developing countries.
  • Unite for Sight - The goal of Unite For Sight and its partner eye clinics and communities is to create eye disease-free communities.  Unite For Sight’s volunteers (local and visiting) work with partner eye clinics to provide eye care in communities without previous access.  Visiting volunteers from North America range from undergraduate and medical students, educators, nurses, and public health professionals to optometrists and ophthalmologists.  Volunteer openings in Africa and India for Summer 2008 - lots of potential dates and locations! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so the sooner, the better!
  • Public & Environmental Health Study in Kenya - students examine the historical, socioeconomic, cultural, environmental, political, and health aspects of life in Kenya; cultural practices and traditional beliefs and their relationship to health issues in Maasai communities; and the organization of healthcare services in Kenya.

Other Programs recommended by alums and current students:

  • St. Jude Pediatric Oncology Summer Internship (Memphis, TN) - Students participating in the Pediatric Oncology Education program will receive training in a superb academic environment created by the interaction of committed basic scientists, research-oriented physicians, and postdoctoral fellows. Depending on their special interests, trainees will spend their rotations in a clinical research or a laboratory research setting.  Salary ($8/hour) and housing available. Inquire about availability for Summer '08.

Other Programs in the area