Undergraduate Research Programs


Applications for Summer 2024 open on November 1, 2023

The Graduate College at Rush University offers a research-intensive training program for students interested in biomedical sciences.

Summer Research Program

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program is a nine-week, intensive research program for undergraduate students. The program is designed to provide research experience and faculty lead mentorship to students interested in pursuing an advanced degree in the biomedical sciences. Interns will complete a rigorous independent research project and present their findings in poster or oral talk format at the end-of-summer research symposium.

Areas of research emphasis include:

  • Cardiovascular and Respiratory Biology
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation
  • Translational Cancer Research
  • Functions and disorders of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Function and disorders of the Nervous System
  • Biotechnology
  • Clinical Research
Program components

Compensation and Benefits

  • Interns will receive a competitive hourly compensation for participating in the program. Federal and State tax will apply to your hourly pay.
  • Interns are responsible for making their own travel arrangements, for their housing, meals (outside of sponsored program events), and local transportation costs.

Program Components

In addition to completing a mentored research project, interns will participate in professional development workshops designed to aid in preparation of competitive applications to graduate school. Interns will also attend weekly research seminars. The program culminates with the opportunity for interns to present their research.


  • How to approach and read scientific literature
  • How to successfully apply to graduate school
  • Preparation of a personal statement, resume, abstract and scientific poster

Community Building Activities

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program includes activities designed to foster interaction among interns and their mentors. Some activities include:

  • Attending a Cubs or White Sox game
  • Touring the Chicago Art Institute or Field Museum
  • Chicago River architecture tour and Navy Pier Fireworks
  • Speed Mentoring Mixer
  • Opportunities to meet current graduate students
Eligibility, Program Requirements, and Application


  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a student with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status
  • Undergraduate student with at least one academic year (or semester/quarter) remaining
    • Students who have previously obtained an undergraduate degree are not eligible to participate in the research programs
  • Strong interest in pursuing an advanced degree in the Biomedical Sciences

Program Requirements

  • Mandatory attendance at orientation
  • Attendance at weekly workshops and research seminar series
  • Completion of nine-week program (encompasses forty-hour work week; no vacation is to be scheduled during the program with exception of Rush University holidays)
  • Completion of program evaluations
  • Abstract submission
  • Attendance at closing session

How to Apply

Application Requirements:

  • Online application form
  • A one-page statement of research interests and career goals outlining the applicants scientific background, current research interests and how participation in the program will advance their academic and career aspirations
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Identification of areas of research interest
Program Schedule

Key Dates

Application Deadline:

  • January 31, 2024

First day of Program - Orientation:

  • June 12, 2024

Independence Day Holiday:

  • July 4, 2024

Last Day of Program:

  • August 9, 2024

Scheduled Events

Student Research Symposium:

  • Week of August 5, 2024

Research Seminars


Mixers/Networking Events


Social Activities


Tips for submitting a quality application

Give yourself enough time to complete your application

Responses to open-ended questions should be thoughtful and detailed, showing that the applicant:

  • Is interested in gaining research experience in a specific area (Immunity and Infection, Neurosciences, etc.)
  • Is interested in a particular technology, methodology or a specific biological model system
  • Has reviewed the list of Rush University Graduate College faculty lab pages for specific research interests

Proofread all application materials

Responses and supporting materials should be reviewed for accuracy and completeness prior to application submission. Rush University Graduate College is unable to accept late or revised materials.

Ask for feedback on your personal statement

Friends, Professors, Faculty Advisors or writing centers are a great individuals who can review your document. When preparing this document, consider the following key points:

  • Why are you applying to a Rush University Graduate College undergraduate research program?
  • What are your interests and career goals?
  • What prior research experience do you have? (not required for acceptance to program)
  • If you don’t have prior research experience, what other experiences have helped prepare you to be successful in the program?
  • How will conducting research at Rush University Graduate College further or help you achieve your academic and career goals?

Request a recommendation from someone who can highlight your relevant strengths

When requesting a recommendation:

  • Choose your references wisely. Recommendations from individuals in a department or field similar to that which you are applying are viewed more favorably than recommendation letters from an individual in a non-related field.
  • Give your references at least two weeks to submit a recommendation on your behalf.
  • Make your request for a recommendation in writing or email, as well as in person. Give your references a copy of your resume and/or the following information:
    • The name of the program and a brief description of what it entails
    • The name of the host institution
    • A brief description of how the program fits in with your goals
    • A brief description of what you will contribute to the program and how you will benefit from participating
    • The due date for the recommendation, to whom it should be addressed and how the letter should be submitted
    • Send your reference a reminder one week prior to the application deadline. Confirm they submitted the recommendation
    • Send your reference(s) a note of thanks




Tony Abeyta, PhD​
Assistant Director of Academic Affairs
(312) 947-2602