Summer Undergraduate MSTP Research (SUMR) Program

Joseph Chin, Pepperdine University, Summer 2014, talking about his SUMR experience in Dr. Richard Smith's Lab. Joseph joined the MSTP in 2017.

The University of Iowa SUMR Program offers an intensive experience for highly motivated undergraduates interested in future combined MD/PhD training for a career as a physician-scientist. The program provides the opportunity to conduct hands-on intensive research with scientists at The University of Iowa.

Participants carry out independent research conducted under the direction of an established mentor in the biomedical sciences. In addition, the program offers weekly seminars emphasizing the intersection of science and medicine, career development seminars, case-based learning sessions and physician-scientist shadowing. Participants gain an appreciation for the role of the physician-scientist in asking pertinent medically related research questions, carrying the results of the work to the patient's bedside. Eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who anticipate graduating with a bachelor’s degree in the biological or physical sciences in the academic year following the summer of planned participation.


The application will open mid-October 2018 and close on after the MLK holiday in January 2019.
Mentor letters are due on February 1st.

SUMR Program Features

  • May 21, 2018 - July 27, 2018
  • 10-week research project conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member in the biomedical sciences.
  • Weekly seminar series - a forum for discussions emphasizing how science and medicine intersect
  • Case-based learning exercise - discussion of mechanisms underlying disease process
  • Career development seminars (e.g. MD/PhD admissions; personal and research statement writing)
  • Physician - scientist shadowing experience (2 to 4 times during the 10-week period)
  • Social and mentoring activities with MD/PhD students


  • $4,150 for the 8-week period
  • Lodging in a University housing facility
  • Travel allowance for transportation to/from Iowa City

Application Requirements

  • A completed online application form 
  • A Curriculum Vitae (view sample CV)
  • Transcript(s) from undergraduate institution(s)
    • (Unofficial ones you can print off are fine)
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • At least one letter must come from your primary research mentor.


  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a rising junior or senior (your earliest anticipated graduation should not be before December 2018)
  • Major in biological or physical science
  • Prior research experience required


SUMR Program
University of Iowa MSTP
2206 MERF 
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: (319) 335-8303

Fax: (319) 335-6634

Information about other UI summer undergraduate research opportunities