Summer Student Research Program

For over 40 years, the Summer Student Research Program has placed talented high school and college students from diverse backgrounds into local clinics and basic science labs to participate in active biomedical research projects. Formerly affiliated with CHORI, now fully integrated with the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, this summer program provides a one-on-one mentorship with health care providers and researchers, along with access to unique workshops, seminars, trainings, simulations, and networking opportunities. The program culminates in a formal research symposium in which each student presents their project findings to the scientific community, many of which continue on as future grants, publications, and advances in healthcare. The overall goal of the program is to stimulate interest in health sciences for under-represented students, arming them with professional skills and confidence, thereby improving their likelihood of success in STEM careers.  

Intended Applicants: To be considered for admittance into the program, prospective students must meet all 3 of the below criterion

  • High school students in their junior or senior year, with at least one completed year in math and biology OR Undergraduate students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program.
  • Students must be 16 years of age or older by June 1st of year of program
  • Students with background considered under-represented in the sciences (individuals from racial/ethnic groups typically underrepresented in the sciences, individuals with disabilities, first-generation college students, individuals who reside with families who are low income or otherwise considered disadvantaged. Detailed descriptions are present in the Frequently Asked Questions page). 

Program Length: The program lasts 9 weeks, and typically spans early June to early August. Exact dates vary by summer, and can be found in the Important Dates and Deadlines section of this website.

Activities Included in the Program: 

  • Pairing with a mentor who will guide you through a clinical or basic science research project. These projects will vary greatly based on the mentor assigned to you.
  • Participate in a research program based on a structured curriculum for 9 weeks.
  • Attend weekly seminars and meetings presented by MD's and PhD's from UCSF or other regional healthcare systems with other CHORI summer students.
  • A weekly intra-program journal club, wherein students read and subsequently discuss a scientific paper.
  • Fun social activities curated by program leadership.
  • Present research findings at a one-day Research Symposium on the last day of the program (typically the 1st Friday in August).

Programmatic Expectations:

  • Attendance at all weekly seminars and meetings.
  • Active, engaged learning and participation with activities provided by your individual mentor.
  • A personal statement due early in the summer.
  • A research abstract also due early in the summer.
  • A full, detailed research proposal due later in the summer.
  • A final, polished research presentation - either verbal, or in poster format - due at the end of the summer.

Stipends:  All admitted, eligible students will receive a stipend. Summer stipends range from $3000–$4000, varying by student status and granting agency.

COVID-19: Due to the continuing COVID pandemic, some restrictions remain in place for in-person training at UCSF. As of August 1, 2022: Some COVID restrictions on in-person training and meetings continue at UCSF. The plan for 2023 summer training is in process. Details will be shared with students accepted into the program as they become available.   

BCH Oakland COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: Vaccination is required for all Individuals who physically access BCH Oakland in connection with their status as employees, medical staff, students or trainees. As a condition of Physical Presence at BCH Oakland, all such individuals must provide proof of Full Vaccination or submit a request for an Exception or Deferral.