Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities

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Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities

If you are a motivated undergraduate student eager to participate in innovative research happening within one of the most active biomedical research institutions in the nation, we invite you to explore our website and learn more about the summer research programs available at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. We are dedicated to showing you “how science works” by providing a list of opportunities available at the Schools of the Health Sciences that will allow you to gain invaluable, hands-on experience in biomedical research. Work side-by-side with extremely knowledgeable scientists and clinicians in their state-of-the-art labs, and explore possible career opportunities.

Please carefully review the list of Summer Research Program opportunities available through the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences. If you need additional assistance, contact the program directly or visit their website. Applications for each program differ, as does the possible financial cost. Visit Application Advice for advice on applying for summer research programs.

University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences

Paid Opportunities


SPAEP (School of Medicine, Office of Diversity Programs)
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
University of Pittsburgh Vascular Medicine Institute & The American Heart Association Summer Undergraduate Research Program (AHA-SURP)
  • The University of Pittsburgh, in cooperation with the American Heart Association and the Vascular Medicine Institute, offers a stipend to support summer research experiences in cardiovascular sciences or brain ischemia research for undergraduates mentored by a University of Pittsburgh faculty member. The SURP is designed to expose students to cutting-edge basic and translational cardiovascular research and is open to undergraduates from accredited institutions of higher education with an interest in cardiovascular science or brain ischemia research as covered by the AHA mission, and who have an interest in potentially developing an independent research career. An emphasis is placed on applicants that are underrepresented within cardiovascular research. Selected particpants will receive a cash stipend of $4,000.00 to defray costs for food and housing.
  • Deadline to apply is March 15, 2015.
  • Contact: Rachel Farrell, Program Administrator, farrellrj2@upmc.edu, 412-648-9222.
  • Website: http://www.vmi.pitt.edu/aha-surp/index.html
TECBio REU @ Pitt (Department of Computational & Systems Biology)
  • TECBio is a ten-week NSF and DOD-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that provides a challenging graduate-level research experience in computational biology with a focus on "Simulation and Visualization of Biological Systems at Multiple Scales." In addition to performing cutting-edge research, TECBio students also participate in other academic and enrichment activities, such as classes, seminars, discussions, and professional development events, while experiencing the various social and cultural activities available in Pittsburgh. Twelve students per year research a $5,250 stipend, housing, and support for travel to and from Pittsburgh. Two students per year are selected from the host institution.
  • Contact: Leah Russell, llr19@pitt.edu, Coordinator
  • Website: Training and Experimentation in Computational Biolo (TECBio)
NIMH Conte Center for the Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR) Fellowship Program
  • The Conte Center for the Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR) Undergraduate Research Program (URP) awards approximately 15 highly talented undergraduate students per year fellowships to perform early-career, hands-on, cutting-edge neuroscience research. Research opportunities focus on schizophrenia and related disorders and are primarily translational in approach. The URP offers early involvement in guided independent research, personal career counseling with highly successful clinical and basic neuroscientists, ongoing engagement in a longitudinal program of research, peer group training in the skills needed for a successful research career, and exposure to the clinical challenges of schizophrenia that motivate translational research.
  • Fellows begin the program during the summer after their freshman or sophomore year with a full-time, 10-week research experience supported by a $4,000 stipend. Students who participate in the summer research program after their freshman or sophomore years may be eligible for an additional research stipend during the following academic year. Students from ethnic, educational, or economic backgrounds that are typically underrepresented in the field of scientific research are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Website & information: Conte Center for the Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR) Fellowship
MIDAS Summer Research Program (School of Public Health)
  • The Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Summer Research Program is a summer research opportunity for undergraduate students in the field of computational modeling and simulation of infectious diseases. Through this ten-week program, participants will gain an appreciation for major research questions being raised at the intersection of public health, biological science, and computer technology. Components include full-time research experience, mentorship, and career development. Students are provided with a $4,500 stipend plus housing and travel as needed. Women and underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Website & information: Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Summer Research Program
College Student Summer Internship Program (Magee-Womens Research Institute)
  • This is an eight-week program in which students work on independent research projects under the guidance of investigators from MWRI. The Institute includes basic, translational, and clinical faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology as well as from other departments of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Compensation is the hourly minimum wage. Housing is not provided. Start and end dates are flexible.
  • Contact: Kelli Lazar, klazar@mwri.magee.edu, Coordinator
  • Website & information: http://www.mwrif.org/27/college-interns
Pittsburgh Tuskegee Prostate Training Program, Department of Pathology
  • Ten-week program that brings students to UPCI from Tuskegee University to conduct laboratory-based research on prostate cancer. Students receive a stipend and housing.
  • Contact: Alan Wells, MD, DMSc
Honors College in the Health Sciences
  • This is a summer research fellowship for full-time University of Pittsburgh undergraduates on the Oakland campus who are planning to pursue a career in a health-related field. This program provides students with a stipend and allows them to pursue full-time independent research under the mentorship of a faculty member in any of the schools of the Health Sciences. The expected number of HCHS fellows will be 10-15 this year.
  • Contact: Edward Stricker, PhD, edstrick@pitt.edu
  • Website & information: http://www.honorscollege.pitt.edu/hchs-summer-research-fellowships


Unpaid Opportunities


Pitt Summer Edge
  • This is a tuition-based program with two programs geared towards undergraduates who are planning careers in the health sciences: Pitt Summer Edge in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Pitt Summer Edge in Public and Global Health.
  • Pitt Summer Edge in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences consists of four interdisciplinary biomedical courses plus an outside-the-classroom research component in which students participate in mentored research and meet weekly to present their findings and discuss ideas.
  • Pitt Summer Edge in Public and Global Health consists of an introductory public health class, a graduate-level elective class, and a research and practice class in which students will work individually or in pairs with public health faculty to perform laboratory, quantitative, or social science research.
  • Website & information: http://www.summeredge.pitt.edu/
Summer Research Internship Program (School of Pharmacy)
  • Undergraduate students from Sun Yat-Sen University participate in unpaid research activities in Pharmaceutical Science. Specific topics include biochemical pharmacology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, and clinical pharmaceutical science. Specific activities may include laboratory safety trainings, observing and performing experiments, attending research seminars, and meetings with faculty and students to discuss research.
  • Contact: Wen Xie, wex6@pitt.edu

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Paid Opportunities


Summer Research Internship Program (Department of Pediatric Surgery)
  • The SRIP provides training for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in Health Sciences who wish to learn the rationale, design strategies, methods, and other aspects of pediatric biomedical research. Opportunities are available within the basic science laboratories of the Rangos Research Center and the clinical research environment of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Participants engage in studies under the direct supervision of investigators who are members of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC's faculty and staff. Research interns are compensated, but housing is not provided. The summer 2015 program will run Monday, July 1, through Friday, July 24, 2015. Student researchers will have the opportunity to present the results of their research in the form of a mandatory poster presentation the last week of the program.
  • To be eligible for the program, applicants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or medical school program and have completed at least two semesters of coursework by the start of the program. Graduating 2015 seniors must document acceptance into an advanced degree program for fall 2015 to be eligible. The application process will open in early January 2015, with an application deadline of February 15, 2015. Applicants will be notified of decisions by April 1, 2015. Application materials and additional program information will be posted in December 2014.
  • Contact: Michelle Peters, (412) 692-6219.
  • Website & information: http://www.chp.edu/CHP/student+research+training+program
For Additional Information

Staff members in the Office of Science Education and Outreach (OSEO), Health Sciences, are available to address your questions via email communication. We will do our best to address your questions and provide you with appropriate information and guidance to find the best fit for your interests and experience to date. Appointments can be made to meet one-on-one with staff in OSEO for an in-depth discussion of your gaols, interests and review of opportunities at the University of Pittsburgh. Please contact OSEO at Stay Connected.

The Office of Science Education Outreach, Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh offers an electronic newsletter, featuring interesting information on science education activities and opportunities. Please sign-up for the free "How Science Works" electronic newsletter by going to Stay Connected.