How to Choose a Summer Research Program

Are you contemplating a career in biomedical research? Many schools offer summer programs to help you decide if this is the right career for you.   

If you are searching for a summer program that helps you gain in-depth research experience in a professional laboratory while providing valuable insight about the kind of work you’ll pursue in doctoral-level education, we recommend looking for a program with these six specific attributes.

Exposure to high quality research opportunities

Faculty member and student researcher.

Check out the caliber of research projects your program offers. There should be topics of interest to you with opportunities that are at the cutting edge of current research. You should be working in state-of-the-art laboratories with the most up-to-date equipment and technology.

Supportive mentorship

Structured, individualized mentorship is a key element of a valuable summer program. Select a summer program with a low trainee-to-faculty ratio. You should work closely with a faculty mentor who helps you design a research project tailored to your interests.

Collaborative environment

Respectable summer programs enable you to work as part of a team conducting meaningful, collaborative research. You should have ample opportunities to learn from other researchers who share your interests.

Possibilities to present research

Student at a poster session.

Good programs will give you the chance to showcase your research findings in a poster, abstract or final presentation. In some cases, your research might be included in the written findings that emerge from the laboratory.

Situated in a livable city

It’s important you feel at home both in and outside of the laboratory, so avoid programs in cities that fail to meet your living needs. Apply for programs situated in cities that boast diverse dining options, cultural activities, sporting events, historical sites and museums, outdoor recreation and nightlife.

Competitive stipends

Ensure that your program provides funds to help with your expenses. Check to see whether your stipend is complemented by other benefits, such as on-campus housing.

Discover Our Summer Research Opportunities

Learn about the laboratory experiences, mentoring relationships, stipends, presentation-opportunities and research options our summer programs offer.