Summer Undergraduate Research Program for Freshman

Apr 14, 2010
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Hi everyone!

I'm currently a freshman and am interested in applying for some summer research programs. I talked to my pre-med advisor and she said I basically would have very little chance at most programs because I would be competing against juniors/seniors who have taken upper division science classes and have more research experience. Are there any programs geared towards freshman/sophmores that I could apply for? I am especially interested in neuroscience, but would also consider programs having to do with cancer research, chemistry, biology, etc,

For some background info, I am a neuroscience major currently volunteering 10 hrs/ week in a neuroscience lab and will be continuing in the spring as an independent study student. I have also spent time in a biochemistry research lab this past summer for 6 weeks, although it wasn't formally through a program or anything.

Any help/advice/tips would be much appreciated!
 

NickNaylor

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I would second what your advisor said: most, though not all, of these programs that I've seen are geared toward upper classmen, so it'll be difficult for you to compete. I think your best bet would be to try and get some kind of fellowship or paid position at your school and then do a formal summer program later. How you go about doing that, I'm not sure. Ask professors you have and see if they'd be willing to take you on.

Good luck.
 
Sep 11, 2010
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It's not impossible to get in. I did University of Cincinnati SURF and got into one of their programs summer after sophomore year. There were many freshman who got quite a number of positions. I believe last year the program had ~600 applicants for 100 openings. I only had a quarter of research experience, which is less than what you will have by summertime.

Just give it a shot, most of these applications are free. Can't hurt to try.
 
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Apr 14, 2010
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UpQuark- Thanks, I will look into that program!

Has anyone else done research programs that accepted freshman?

Also, what generally separates the people who get in these kinds of programs versus the people who don't? What kinds of things do people in charge of admissions for summer research programs look for?
 
Sep 11, 2010
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UpQuark- Thanks, I will look into that program!

Has anyone else done research programs that accepted freshman?

Also, what generally separates the people who get in these kinds of programs versus the people who don't? What kinds of things do people in charge of admissions for summer research programs look for?
http://www.med.uc.edu/surf/summerapp.cfm?Program=SURF-RGE

Here's the link for UC SURF and applications are open (earlier than last year). You can apply to as many programs as you want and admission is on a rolling basis. So you will have a greater chance if you apply early. Also, the admissions committee like to see out of state students to boost the reputation of the program (more out of state students were chosen over in state last year).

If you do submit an application, keep in mind to write it around a research perspective - they like to see more students going for phd and md/phd rather than a straight md.
 

blackarrowmoose

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Aug 14, 2010
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i've actually been looking into stuff like this aswell, but i think as a freshman im out of luck. especially since i don't have any close relationships with any professors specifically (for LOR's). However i do want to get "started" in research, does anyone know a good way to do that?