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Below is a list of some undergraduate summer research opportunities across STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) disciplines in the UNC School of Medicine. The Office of Graduate Education does not administer all of these programs, but we strongly encourage students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to explore and apply to the opportunities that align with your current academic stage and professional interests. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and we employ prospective trainees to explore other opportunities that better suit their needs through the Office of Diversity and Student Success. 


Key: H=Housing provided, $= Partial stipend provided, $$= Full stipend provided, and T=Travel Funding Available


Programs for trainees with funding from their home institution:

Summer of Learning and Research (SOLAR) | H, $, T

Requirements: N/A

UNC’s Summer of Learning and Research (SOLAR) Program is an intensive 8-week experience designed to prepare diverse students for graduate research and careers in science. The program is open to rising juniors, and seniors from 4-year colleges and universities around the country, who are participants in programs like MARC, RISE, LSAMP or McNair with access to funding for their summer research experience.

Program Site


Programs for trainees without funding from their home institution:

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Biological Mechanisms (NSF SURE REU) | H, $$, T

Requirements: US citizen/permanent resident, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors

For 10 weeks during the summer, undergraduate students are immersed in the SURE-REU (REU program) experience; they work side-by-side with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty who serve as role models and as mentors. They discover how modern biological research is formulated, carried out, and reported in an environment that stresses collaboration and multidisciplinary approaches to problem-solving. SURE-REU undergraduates acquire skills critical to success in research and teaching careers and to gaining entry to top graduate departments of their choice. Making informed career choices is a major theme of the Program; participants hear about careers and lifestyles in forums with scientists inside and outside of academia and with current graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at UNC-Chapel Hill. Our journal club and seminar program expose students to emerging areas of research and provide insight into the scientific method. At the end of the Program, all students present their work at a campus-wide Summer Research Symposium and Poster Session.

Program Site


Carolina Summer Fellowship Program (CSF) | H, $$, T

Requirements: US Citizen/ permanent resident or foreign student with valid visa, rising sophomore-senior

Training in the CSF Program includes hands-on research conducted by the student in the laboratory of a supervising faculty member, a weekly seminar program to acquaint the student with projects and research activities of the faculty, workshops on career opportunities, ethics training, presentation skills, and how to apply and interview for graduate school. Outside the lab get to know your fellow CSF students through fun events, lunches, and dinners near or on the famous Franklin Street. The program culminates with student presentations on their summer research project.

Program Site


HBCU – Bridge Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) | H, $$ 

Requirements: Current freshman, sophomore, or junior at a partner institution

The HBCU-Bridge Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) is designed to immerse undergraduate students from local HBCUs in cutting-edge scientific research while developing scientific literacy and professional development skills. The goals of the program are to introduce undergraduate students from underrepresented minority (URM) populations to biomedical research in microbiology and immunology. Students will be matched with a participating laboratory in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology where they will perform experiments to address a key scientific question. Students will also participate in a weekly journal club where they will develop and practice key skills including scientific literacy, hypothesis generation, and experimental design.

Program Site


21st Century Environmental Health Scholars (21EH Scholars) | $$, T

Requirements: US Citizen/ permeant resident, sophomore, junior, or senior, and from a partner institution

21EH Scholars is a 12-month program that provides environmental health science research internships for undergraduate students at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and UNC-Chapel Hill. Working as part of a lab team, 21EH Scholars will learn about cutting-edge research topics and develop research skills. They also will develop their science communication skills and prepare to apply to graduate school. The program is designed to support students who are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, including women, students with disabilities, and members of underrepresented minority groups–Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives. C-STEP STEM Pathways students who have recently transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill are especially encouraged to apply.

Program Site


PARTNERS Research Education Program | H, $$, T

Requirements: Students currently completing their freshman or sophomore year at a partner institution

The Partners Program provides educational training opportunities for undergraduate students to pursue careers in cancer health disparities. It also introduces undergraduate students to basic cancer laboratory research and to public health research in areas relevant to disparities in the prevention, incidence, treatment, mortality and morbidity of cancer.

Program Site


Explorations in Genomic Medicine Research (EDGE) | H, $$, T

Requirements: rising sophomore-junior, or a community college student

Explorations in Genomic Medicine Research is a virtual summer class offered by the UNC Program for Precision Medicine in Health Care (PPMH). The class covers the following topics: genes, health, and heredity; research in genomics and precision medicine; ethical, legal, and social issues in genomic medicine research; health informatics and computational techniques; careers in genomics.

Program Site


SPIRE Summer Research Program | H, $$, T

Requirements: current sophomore-senior at a partner institution

The goals of the program are to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in innovative research at UNC Chapel Hill, develop professional skills as a scientist, and contribute to a scholarly community. Research opportunities exist in areas such as molecular biology, cell biology, chemistry, genetics, cancer research, marine biology, and microbiology.

Program Site


CSS MD-PhD Summer Experience | H, $$, T

Requirements: current UNC CSS Students

An 8-week summer program open to current UNC students in the Chancellor Science Scholars program.  Participants engage in a summer research project with UNC faculty and are set up with clinical engagement activities. For more information about the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program at UNC please click here.