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INI Summer Scholars Program

Summer Scholars


The INI Summer Scholar Program supports three Iowa undergraduates planning to pursue research during the summer with any INI faculty member, or any UI faculty member who would like to join the INI. (Current INI Faculty Member listing)  Each INI faculty member may sponsor no more than one applicant. Applicants must have completed at least three semesters at UI to be eligible. This award is highly competitive. Students from groups underrepresented in neuroscience are especially encouraged to apply.

Each INI Summer Scholar receives a stipend of $5,000 to support their housing and living expenses for the summer. In addition to pursuing their independent research, INI Summer Scholars have the opportunity to attend a summer undergraduate seminar series and a variety of informal social events on campus during their tenure. All INI Summer Scholars present a poster on their work at the Summer Undergraduate Research Conference and give a brief talk at an INI Collaboration meeting.

The Iowa Neuroscience Institute (INI) is a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary neuroscience center supporting research to find the causes of — and preventions, treatments, and cures for — the many diseases that affect the brain and nervous system. It was established in January 2017, led by Director Ted Abel, Ph.D., and supported by a transformational $45 million grant to the University of Iowa from The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.  A key part of the INI’s mission is to promote neuroscience education and engagement, across the University of Iowa campus and beyond. 

Application deadline, March 8, 2024

To apply, please submit the following as a single PDF file to: iowa-neuroscience-institute@uiowa.edu

  1. A one-page (single-spaced, 11 pt. font) description, written by the applicant, describing the research to be conducted during summer 2024 (may be a new or continuing project), suitability of the mentor, and how support will aid the applicant’s goals.
  2. A one-page (single-spaced, 11 pt. font) letter of support from the mentor, who must be an INI faculty member or a UI neuroscientist who wishes to join the INI. This letter must describe the mentor’s commitment to training, how the applicant will be supervised, and why the applicant is an outstanding candidate for Summer Scholar support.
  3. The applicant’s up-to-date undergraduate transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).
  4. The applicant’s curriculum vitae.

Submit applications only to: iowa-neuroscience-institute@uiowa.edu, with “INI Summer Scholar Application” in the subject line.

Questions about the program may be directed to Joshua Weiner, INI Associate Director for Education and Outreach: joshua-weiner@uiowa.edu


In the past five years, we’ve supported 15 outstanding students, many of whom have gone on to neuroscience-related careers, graduate programs, or medical school.

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2021 INI Summer Scholar Winners Announcement

2020 INI Summer Scholar Winners Announcement

2019 INI Summer Scholar Winners Announcement

2018 INI Summer Scholar Winners Announcement