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Program Flow Chart

Use the steps below to guide you through applying for and participating in the Summer Research Training Program.

Summer Research Program Application Steps

This is the most important step of the entire process. You will need to find a mentor or research team that best complements your research skills and career path. There are many sources of information for you to make this decision:

  • Programs at another institution. Review a list of outside programs on the MedSOS webpage, First Year Medical Student Summer Opportunities. Each of these programs is competitive and focused. There are programs at Sloan Kettering, Vanderbilt and several others. If you want to attend one of these programs, fill out their application form (step 2). There are more programs that are not listed. We try to list all programs, but there are always new ones coming out.
  • Mentors at another institution. This is slightly different from the above in that this may be a mentor that is independent of any of the above training programs.  They may or may not need an "application" based on whether it is a formal or informal lab rotation. Your outside mentor will inform you of the requirements for their institution.
  • Training Programs at KU Medical Center. There are several training programs at KU Medical Center, including the Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences Training Program and the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Research Center ( These and other programs provide paid research opportunities for the summer between years one and two. There are also funds for entering into a full-time graduate research program after year two.
  • KU Medical Center Mentors. Individual researchers at KU Medical Center will support you during the summer program. These researchers will have labs and/or funding available. This is the easiest and hardest category. It is easiest if you have already identified a faculty member that fits your needs. It is the hardest if you are not clear on your career path or direction.

    If you need help with identifying a mentor or program, reach out to faculty. Contact Dr. John Stanford if you want to talk about your choices. Contact your society mentor to get input. Talk to faculty to see whom they would recommend. Check out the list of projects from last year. The most important factor in making your decision is you. It is your career and your path; you must make these decisions. We can help provide the information.

There are many different applications since there are many different programs.  There are also many different deadlines since there are many different programs.  Once you have identified the mentor or program in step one above you should fill out the application.   I will send you the KU Medical Center application by email.  I do not publish this link.  If you apply to multiple programs you will of course fill out multiple applications. 

This is an online application form. You will fill this out regardless of where you go. Dr. Stanford will email this link to you. This will be needed to obtain your academic grade. 

If you are doing research outside of KU Medical Center you will need to work with the sponsoring institution to obtain your outside funding. 

If you are doing research at KU Medical Center, there are many different sources of funding. 

  1. Training Grants. The training grants offer different stipend amounts and different incentives to the faculty. These programs are limited in number and are highly competitive.
  2. Individual researchers/programs. Some faculty and programs will provide stipends during your research. This list varies by year, day and hour. We will work with you to identify researchers and programs that can provide stipends.
  1. If you are working with human subjects, you will need to pass the human subjects compliance module.
  2. If you are working with animals, you will need to pass the animal training protocol, and your mentor will need to add you to his or her animal protocol.
  3. You will need to pass the lab safety compliance module.
  4. You will need to fill out any other paperwork for the training grant or funding sources.
  5. You must work with your mentor to have you added to their Human Subjects Project. This should be done before you begin the program.

This is the easiest part of the program, and the reason you go through all the above. Remember that you will get out of the program what you put into it. Also, remember that your mentor and research teams will be extremely valuable when it comes time for letters of recommendation.

  • Write a 250 word abstract of your research and submit it to the Student Research Forum (January)
  • Present your research to others (choose one or more of the following)
    • Student Research Forum (everybody; March/April)
    • End of rotation presentations (certain outside programs)
    • Training program research days (certain training programs)



John A. Stanford, Ph.D.
Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, School of Medicine
Program Director, Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE)
University of Kansas Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd., MS 3051
Kansas City, KS 66160

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
School of Medicine
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160