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Summer Research Program Opportunities - 2015

Welcome to the VCU School of Medicine Summer Research program! We invite current high school, college and VCU medical school students to use this as a central resource to:

  • Identify research opportunities
  • Register for placement online

In the spring of 2015, you will need to register for all School of Medicine summer research programs through this website, even if you have independently contacted a research mentor and arranged for a summer position.

Step 1 – Locate Research Faculty in your Areas of Interest

Visit The School of Medicine Summer Research Faculty List to locate faculty members conducting research in your areas of interest. Indicate the names of faculty you would be interested in working with on your application. Contact the faculty members by email to arrange a meeting.

Step 2 – Complete the appropriate application

Most programs accept students on a first come, first served basis. We will try to honor your requests, but labs and research programs fill up quickly, so submit your applications as soon as possible.

Research opportunities

If you will be doing research for the VCU School of Medicine, you will need to fill out one of the applications above in addition to contacting the specific program. There are a variety of summer research opportunities in the school:

Programs

There are several programs for summer research for which you can apply.

    • Pre-health programs (undergraduates)

      • VCU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship — Summer Fellowship Program Prospectus

        VCU is committed to making opportunities for active learning available to undergraduates in all departments in the university. For the summer of 2015, we have initiated a special program to provide student fellowship and faculty support money for mentored research and creative scholarship experiences. Successful student applicants will receive a cash stipend of $1,500.

        Full-time VCU undergraduate freshmen, sophomores and juniors in all departments are eligible to apply. Students who wish to apply to the program must take the following steps:

        1. Engage a faculty mentor with whom you would like to work. Your prospective faculty mentor may be in your home department or from a department other than your major. For information on how to approach faculty mentors, see the VCU Research Web page, Resources for Undergraduate Research.
        2. Work out a summer work project and plan with your mentor. Application requirements will include a maximum five single-spaced-page fellowship proposal, detailing:

          1. The significance of the work in relation to previous scholarship or creative expression
          2. The specific aims of the work
          3. The methods to be employed
          4. Results expected

          The prospective faculty mentor or others may review and comment on the proposal prior to submission, but the conception and writing must be the work of the student applicant.

          Other required documents include:

          • A maximum one-page personal statement, expressing the experience and skills you bring to the project, and the importance of the fellowship for your personal development.
          • A mentor's signed letter of support for your collaboration with her or him in the project.
          • A one-page joint statement of intent with respect to the fellowship, signed by the student applicant and the prospective mentor, describing a general work plan that includes 20 to 40 hours of work per week for 10 weeks during the summer, and a pledge to report as required on progress and results in a timely manner.

        3. Complete an application online. Application materials are available at the VCU Undergraduate Summer Fellowship website. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2015.

        If you have questions, you may contact Mr. Herb Hill at hhill@vcu.edu.

      • VCU Acceleration

        Eligibility: recent high school graduates

        A four-week summer health sciences program that exposes undergraduate students to the math and science curricula of health sciences. Students will also complete internships in various clinical health service provider settings. For more information, visit the VCU Division for Health Science Diversity website.

      • VCU Medical Science Internship Program

        The Medical Scientist Internship Program (MSIP) is a 6-week summer program designed to expose high school students to the healthcare and the research component of medicine. Interns are challenged through clinical shadowing opportunities, lectures from medical professionals, and researching with a laboratory mentor. For more information, visit the VCU Medical Science Internship Program website.

    • Research Programs
      • Injury and violence research

        The Research Division of Trauma Surgery in the Department of Surgery announces research opportunities in the area of injury and violence. This area includes preventive strategies, diagnosis and management of traumatic injury or violence-related injuries (e.g., domestic abuse, gang/gun warfare, sexual abuse, sports related injuries, substance abuse). Students will have an opportunity to participate in inpatient violence consults and design a research project and clinical exposure to suit their interests.

        If interested, please email Dr. Stephanie Goldberg at sgoldberg@mcvh-vcu.edu.

      • Research in Women's Health

        Students interested in research relevant to women’s health should consider opportunities to work with faculty scholars in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program. See Contacts for more information.

      • Health Educational Research Opportunities program (HERO)

        Eligibility: minority undergraduate students, VCU first-year medical and dental students

        Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the HERO program provides 10-week summer research experiences for undergraduate students and first-year medical or dental students. Students have the opportunity to work with VCU faculty on research projects that focus on diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung and blood; blood resources; and sleep disorders. Students from racial and ethnic minorities or disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the HERO website.

      • VCU Honors College Summer Undergraduate Research Program

        Eligibility: VCU honor students

        The Honors College cultivates a community of students and faculty focused on collaborative research that goes beyond the typical undergraduate experience. For application information, visit the VCU Honors College program’s website.
      • JACK’S Summer Scholars Program

        JACK’S Summer Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to view the world of neonatology and pediatric subspecialties through clinical mentoring and research. Summer scholars have the opportunity to work with the neonatal team as they provide care and conduct research related to infant and maternal health. Specific emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of multidisciplinary hospital care. The program also enables participants to explore medical career opportunities in pediatric subspecialties such as general surgery, anesthesiology, neurosurgery and infectious diseases. Visit for more Information on JACK’S Summer Scholars Program.

      • The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) STEP-UP Program

        Eligibility: minority undergraduate students

        This program provides undergraduate students with a 10-week, hands-on research experience in a VCU laboratory setting. The research explored will be in NIDDK mission areas including diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, nutrition, obesity, and digestive, liver, urologic, kidney and hematologic diseases. Each student is assigned a faculty mentor. Stipends provided. For more information, call (804) 827-0982 and visit the VCU Division for Health Sciences Diversity website.

      • Physiology and Biophysics Summer Undergraduate Research Program

        Eligibility: undergraduate students

        The goal of the Physiology and Biophysics Summer Undergraduate Research Program is to recruit academically excellent undergraduate students to engage in research projects on a full-time basis in the summer, and to enrich the candidate pools for the PhD and M.D./Ph.D. programs in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at VCU. For application information, please contact Dr. Gea-Ny Tseng, SURP Director, at gtseng@vcu.edu or visit the Physiology and Biophysics’ website.

    • Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

      Eligibility: minority college graduates

      Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is a one-year biomedical research training program for recent college graduates from underrepresented groups who are considering graduate level training in the biomedical sciences. The program provides PREP scholars with (1) a year-long, paid, mentored research experience, (2) the opportunity to develop technical skills and (3) the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills. PREP scholars receive competitive stipends. At the end of the program, PREP scholars should have the skills needed to successfully compete for admission into a biomedical Ph.D. program, at VCU or another outstanding institution. For application information, please contact Dr. Joyce Lloyd, the PREP Program Director, at jlloyd@vcu.edu or (804) 628-2182.

  • VCU medical student programs

    • VCU School of Medicine Student Summer Research Fellowship Program

      Eligibility: VCU medical students between the M1 and M2 years

      1. Eligibility and requirements for students and sponsors

        1. Students in the School of Medicine may do research with any faculty member in the school but must register through this website.

        2. Students can receive a stipend ($2,500) funded by the Dean’s Office but must apply to the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Research Training for a summer research fellowship using the School of Medicine Student Summer Research Fellowship Application form. The fellowships are limited and are, therefore, very competitive.

        3. Fellowships are for a period of two months and are offered between the M1 and M2 years.

        4. A faculty member may sponsor only one fellowship-funded student application per year.

      2. Application procedures

        1. Applicants must complete the School of Medicine Student Summer Research Fellowship Application form by March 15, 2015.

          Submission of this online application form certifies that you will not be working another job during the period of time that you will be involved in this research project.

        2. The applicant’s prospective research mentor must prepare a letter agreeing to be their adviser for the summer and to be present for at least six weeks of the research period. The applicant should submit this letter to Sandra Sorrell at ssorrell@vcu.edu.

        3. Applications will be judged on the quality and suitability of the project, the student’s academic achievement at the VCU School of Medicine and the suitability of the sponsor. Evaluation will be conducted by a faculty advisory committee appointed by the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Research Training. Notification of awards will be made during the month of April 2015.

      3. Obligations of the School of Medicine student summer fellow

        1. The student will devote full time to the research project throughout the time devoted to the fellowship and will not hold other jobs during this period.

        2. It is mandatory that students submit an abstract to be selected to submit a poster of their research for presentation at Student Honors Day, which is usually held in May of the following year. About half of the submitted research summaries are accepted for presentation and the best presentations are awarded prizes: 1st prize gets $1,000, 2nd $500 and 3rd $250.

        3. Any publication resulting from this research should acknowledge support by the School of Medicine.

        Questions concerning these fellowships and guidelines may be directed to Dr. Gordon L. Archer, (804) 828-0673, garcher@vcu.edu, Sanger Hall room 1-055.

Individual Opportunities

In addition to programs, a variety of individual opportunities are available for you to work with faculty throughout the school.

Visit the School of Medicine Summer Research Faculty List to locate faculty members conducting research in your areas of interest. Contact the faculty members by email to arrange a meeting.

Summer research opportunities abound! You can apply through any or all of these options if you wish.

Applicant Education Level

High School

High school students are encouraged to seek summer research opportunities. We are anxious to foster an interest in science and to stimulate career goals in this area. Students who apply should have taken courses in basic chemistry and biology. Previous high school or summer laboratory experience is desirable, but not mandatory.

College

Students who are preparing for careers in science or as science professionals are encouraged to apply for summer research opportunities. Most of the students involved in specific programs will be college students and there will be specific seminars and events scheduled throughout the summer to which all summer research students are invited

Medical School

Students in the VCU School of Medicine are encouraged to do summer research. Research is usually conducted between the M1 and M2 years and can be continued for varying lengths of time throughout M2, M3 and M4 years.