Summer Research Program
For most WUSM students, summer research is fully funded. To participate in summer research, first meet with Dr. Chung to find a mentor and project and to discuss funding opportunities.
After you have identified a mentor and project, apply for funding through one of the sources below.
Summer research at a glance:
- 2-3 months full-time research in one of the programs below
- stipends available through several funding sources
- approximately 95 students participate each year
Download the Summer Research Program Guidelines (pdf) »
Funding sources and applications
Dean Chung will help you determine which funding source to apply to based on your research interests and the project you choose.
Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases Research (NHLBI) / Dean’s Program
Faculty from a broad range of basic and clinical sciences are available to mentor students in hands-on research related to heart, lung and blood diseases. Support is provided through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the School of Medicine Dean’s Fellowships.
Objectives: To provide medical students with a hands-on research experience. This can be a first-time experience or a project related or unrelated to research conducted as an undergraduate. Excellent mentors from a broad range of basic and clinical sciences are available. A Washington University Summer Research Fellowship can provide a strong background for application to the yearlong and MD/PhD (MSTP) degree programs, lead to abstracts at meetings and to publications, and be important for applications for competitive residencies.
Length of Program: Students work full-time on the research project for 2.5 months from late May until classes start in August.
Funding: Fellowships provide a stipend. Support is provided through the NHLBI training grant and WUSM training grants.
Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time medical students at WUSM and in good academic standing without encumbrances. All research is conducted under the direction of a full-time faculty member of the School of Medicine.
Research Interests: Students may consult a list of faculty research interests at dbbs.wustl.edu and can learn about research in each department at the School of Medicine by consulting department websites. Students should visit prospective mentors to discuss possible projects and background reading.
Requirements: Students are required to write a 1-3 page research proposal by March 15, to write an abstract and present a poster on Research Day in the fall, and to write a research report in August. Research must have appropriate human or animal committee approvals, and students are required to attend a research ethics seminar. No academic credits may be earned from a Summer Research Program.
Stipend: Students receive $1,948 per month.
Application: Deadline is March 15. Interested students may request an application or obtain additional information by contacting:
Koong-Nah Chung, PhD
Associate Dean for Medical Student Research
Director of the Office of Medical Student Research
voice: (314) 362-5464
Project Manager/Research Administrator
Office of Medical Student Research
voice: (314) 362-6857
Clinical Research Coursework (TL1)
Students interested in clinical research may be interested in the TL1 program, offered through the Clinical Research Training Center. In this program, students take courses while completing their summer research. Funding for TL1 is coordinated by the Office of Medical Student Research after the application process is complete.
Overview: The Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC) Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Program TL1 – Summer provides medical and allied health students with a 2 month (June and July) mentored clinical or translational research experience, didactic course work, and career development seminars. As a core educational component of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) at Washington University, the CRTC Predoctoral Program strives to:
- Promote clinical and translational research training for medical and allied health care predoctoral students
- Create an efficient entry into a variety of clinical research careers
- Allow flexibility to develop novel and unique clinical and translational research projects
Objectives: The CRTC Predoctoral Program TL1 – Summer is an introductory program that supports a select group of trainees and exposes them to excellent patient-oriented researchers. In addition, the program will instruct students to:
- Design and conduct clinical research
- Analyze data
- Consider relevant ethical and legal issues
- Give oral presentations
- Develop and present scientific posters
Eligibility and Requirements: Doctoral-degree students in medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, biomedical engineering, pharmacy, audiology and communications sciences, and other allied health professions who wish to learn more about academic careers in clinical and translational research are eligible. No prior clinical or translational research is required. Trainees accepted into the program must be able to commit full-time effort to the program for the 2 month duration of the appointment (June and July), successfully complete all course work, attend the Research Ethics Seminar and the Friday Summer Seminar Series, and participate in the annual Research Training Symposium and Poster Session in October immediately following the trainees’ appointment.
TL1 Predoctoral Summer Program Required Courses:
- Analysis of Clinical Data (M17-5881, Summer, 1 credit)
- Designing Outcomes and Clinical Research Workshop (M17-504, Summer, 1 credit)
Stipend: Students receive the equivalent to the current NIH predoctoral stipend level ($1,948 per month).
Tuition: No tuition costs are associated with the required course work.
Application: Applications to the CRTC Predoctoral Program TL1 – Summer are accepted online at crtc.wustl.edu. Applications are due on February 20. Prospective trainees are responsible for completing all required steps of the application, admission and enrollment process.
More Information: For more information, including specific application and course work requirements, please visit the program website at crtc.wustl.edu or contact:
voice: (314) 454-8255
Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases Research (NIDDK)
This program introduces medical students to career opportunities in basic or clinical research related to diabetes, obesity, endocrine disorders, metabolic diseases, nutritional disorders, digestive and liver diseases, and kidney or urological disorders.
Objectives: The goal of the Trans-NIDDK Short-Term Training Program for Medical Students is to introduce medical students to career opportunities in basic or clinical research related to diabetes, obesity, endocrine disorders, metabolic diseases, nutritional disorders, digestive and liver diseases, and kidney or urologic disorders. 16 medical students may participate for up to 3 months of the summer.
Medical students entering this program will pair with faculty on this training grant to develop a 3 month summer research experience. They will participate in a weekly series of talks devoted to developing academic skills. Medical students participating in this program will be encouraged to continue their project and undergo further training in basic or clinical research by entering the yearlong and/or the Medical Scientist Training Program.
Stipend: Students receive $1,948 per month.
Application: Applications are due March 15. For more information, contact:
Thomas J. Baranski, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine and Developmental Biology
voice: (314) 747-3997
Otolaryngology / ENT Research
The Otolaryngology T32 training program provides mentor-lead research experience in basic, clinical, translational, or population health research in diseases and conditions related to deafness and other communication disorders.
Objectives: The overall goal of the Otolaryngology T32 training program is to introduce outstanding predoctoral medical students to the excitement and challenges of research so as to stimulate within them a lifelong curiosity to seek answers to important health-related questions.
The specific aim of the Otolaryngology T32 training program is to provide research experience with mentors conducting basic, clinical, translational, or population health research in diseases and conditions related to deafness and other communication disorders.
The predoctoral medical students will receive a 2-3 month mentored research experience during the summer after their first year of medical school with the immediate goal of exciting early interest in research, especially in diseases of deafness and other communication disorders. The 2 predoctoral students will spend 2-3 months in the research laboratory of one of the program faculty. The mentored research experience will be appropriate to his/her short-term appointment. The trainee will be expected to present the results of the short-term research as a poster at the annual Research Training Symposium and Poster Session held each fall.
Application: For more information and an application form, contact:
voice: (314) 454-8255
The summer program at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) offers medical students an excellent introduction to current radiological sciences research in a wide variety of imaging areas including cardiovascular, MRI, molecular pharmacology, neuroscience, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and more.
Objectives: For many years, the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) Summer Research Program has offered undergraduate and medical students an excellent introduction to current radiological sciences research. The wide variety of ongoing research includes areas such as:
- Cardiovascular imaging
- Contrast agent development
- Diagnostic radiology
- Digital imaging
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
- Molecular pharmacology
- Neuroscience imaging
- Nuclear medicine
- Optical imaging
- Positron emission tomography
- Radiopharmaceutical development
- X-ray computed tomography
The start and finish dates of the program are flexible. To view the requirements or to download an application, click here. Information on research may be found here, which includes descriptions of the various MIR research labs and individual faculty’s research interests.
Stipend: Applicants selected to the Summer Research Program will receive $5,000 for a 10-week summer research period.
Application: Due by February 19.
Application forms may be found online (available in November), or you may contact Kayla Corman at (314) 362-9359 or email@example.com.
The Siteman Cancer Center provides medical students interested in working on cancer research with opportunities including basic laboratory research, clinical research, and prevention/control and population research.
Objectives: The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and WUSM provides opportunities for undergraduate and medical students currently enrolled at Washington University or other accredited universities to apply to work on cancer research projects during the summer. Opportunities range from basic laboratory research to clinical research to prevention/control and population research.
Stipend: Applicants selected for the program will receive a stipend for a 10-week summer research period from May 29 through August 3, though some flexibility is available.
Approximately 12 students will be selected. Please see the application instructions on the Siteman Cancer Center website.
Application: The process includes:
- Student Application Form
- Curriculum Vitae
- Medical School Transcript
- Two letters of recommendation
Complete applications are due by January 16, 5:00pm CST. All applicants will be notified of decisions by early March.
For further information, contact: