The Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy (VSSA) offers biomedical research opportunities to undergraduates who want to pursue a career in the biomedical sciences. Although each participating program operates independently, the academy unites students and provides them with opportunities for academic and social interaction. There are two major tracks within the VSSA; the Basic Science Programs for undergraduates interested in careers in research, and the Undergraduate Clinical Research Internship Program for undergraduates who wish to pursue a career in medicine. Participation in any one of the Summer Science Academy programs is a valuable learning experience that enhances a student's skills and makes him or her more competitive for acceptance to frontline graduate programs.
Each student has an opportunity to present their research at the Summer Symposium held on the last day of the nine-week program. The Summer Symposium is the culmination of their summer experience, the primary feature of which is an independent research project in a laboratory at Vanderbilt University. This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to experience research at a major academic research center and to understand what graduate life would be like were they to decide on a research career. It is also an excellent opportunity for students to network with a very diverse group of students from other institutions from across the country.
Basic Science Participating Programs (Summer 2014)
? The Molecular and Cellular Biology Summer Program (IGP) provides undergraduate students who may be interested in the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), our Ph.D. track program, hands-on research experience in the laboratory of an IGP faculty preceptor.
? The BP-ENDURE Program hosted by a collaboration between Hunter College and the Vanderbilt Brain Institute connects research-intensive institutions to institutions that have substantial enrollments of neuroscience majors from traditionally underrepresented groups. The program supports a range of activities to increase undergraduate student’s interest in the neurosciences, including research experiences, curriculum development, seminars and journal clubs.
? The Integrative Cancer Biology Program has two different summer programs for undergraduates designed to train students specifically interested in cancer research how to address research questions in this field.
? The Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-IEP) offers undergraduates, interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D., the opportunity to work for nine weeks under the guidance of a faculty or research mentor at Vanderbilt University, a participating Alliance institution.
? The Summer Enrichment Research Program in Education and Neuroscience Training by the Middle Tennessee Chapter for the Society of Neuroscience (MTNCsfn) is designed to introduce students to neuroscience research outreach training through its Summer Enrichment Research Program in Education and Neuroscience Training (SERPENT).
? The Vanderbilt Summer Undergraduate Research Internship in Biomedical Informatics (SURI-BMI) provides undergraduate students with a high quality, hands-on research experience with Biomedical Informatics faculty mentors; thereby encouraging students to consider pursuing PhDs and research careers in the field.
? The objective of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Pharmacology is to introduce students to biomedical research and to help them gain an understanding of recent advances in pharmacological research through interactions with faculty, postdocs and, graduate students.
? The Vanderbilt Benign Urologic Disease Center Summer Program provides undergraduate students who are interested in benign urologic disease, the opportunity for a research experience in one of the laboratories associated with the Vanderbilt Benign Urologic Disease Center.
? The Vanderbilt Minority Summer Research Program offers undergraduates, who are members of federally recognized groups as underrepresented in the sciences, a summer research internship in the laboratory of an outstanding scientist at Vanderbilt University.
? The Vanderbilt Summer Diabetes Research Program provides undergraduate students who are interested in diabetes the opportunity for a research experience in one of the many laboratories associated with the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center.
? The Vascular Biology-Short Term Training Program for Minority Students offers undergraduate students an NIH funded training program in vascular biology. The STTP for Minority Students offers a laboratory experience designed to teach contemporary research techniques and enhance essential laboratory skills. Combining research activities with coursework, students gain a better grasp of research concepts and improve their critical thinking with regards to the literature and their own studies.
The Undergraduate Clinical Research Internship Program is a separate track within the VSSA that gives undergraduates the opportunity to explore the busy life of an academic medical center. It is designed for individuals who may wish to pursue a career as a physician in a teaching hospital, in a clinic, or as a physician scientist. Participants will actively engage with a physician’s research team over a nine-week period. Participants are also exposed to the clinical environment, spending one half-day per week shadowing resident physicians in the hospital.
The deadline to apply is February 1, 2014. Please go to https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/vssa/ for additional information.
For questions regarding the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy, please contact:
Michelle Grundy, Ph.D.
Director, Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy
Coordinator, Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy