UM-SMART research opportunity Summer 2021

UM-SMART is designed for undergraduate students who have an interest in obtaining a combined MD/PhD degree leading to a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist performing basic research relevant to human health and disease. As a UM-SMART summer research fellow, students work full-time in a basic research laboratory under the mentorship of a research faculty member.

The goal of the UM-SMART program is to help students decide if a career as a physician-scientist is right for them, and to enhance competitiveness when applying to MD/PhD programs.  The UM-SMART has helped 85 undergraduate participants learn about MD/PhD training since 2008.  After graduation, 78% of past participants entered MD/PhD, PhD, or MD programs.

This 10-week program is aimed at students who have some amount of basic and mechanistic research experience related to medicine and are interested in gaining more experience to advance their career goals.  UM-SMART is not intended for students seeking clinical research experience on human subjects.  Additionally, we do not offer opportunities in public health, the social sciences, or humanities.

Application opens:  November 16, 2020

Application deadline:  February 1, 2021

Tentative Program dates:  May 24-Aug 1, 2021

While they are hopeful and planning for an in person program in 2021, due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status of the program is currently tentative.  In the event that joining them on campus is not possible, an alternative virtual experience will be offered.

Program Highlights:

Students participating in a lab receive a stipend of $4,400 plus double occupancy dormitory housing and a meal allowance.

The main scientific focus of the summer program is to provide full-time laboratory biomedical research, as well as:

  • Two half day clinical shadowing experiences
  • Online MCAT preparation accessible for 12 months
  • Oral and Poster presentation and relevant seminars
  • “Big Sib” Mentoring Program
  • Attend 3-day MSTP annual scientific retreat

Eligibility: (see the website for more information)

Applicants belonging to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply. This includes:  Individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, such as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds such as family annual income below established low-income thresholds, or an educational environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

In addition, applicants must

  • Be a US Citizen or permanent resident of the US
  • Complete sophomore year by June 1, 2021
  • Maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average
  • Complete 100 hours of research lab experience by June 1, 2021
  • Submit two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a research mentor or instructor

To apply to the UM-SMART program, follow this link.

For more information please visit their website.

The deadline for application submission including all application materials is February 1, 2021.

Should you have any questions about the program please feel free to contact the University of Michigan MSTP office

By Dan Poux (He/Him)
Dan Poux (He/Him) Career Coach