Media Contact: Kara Gavin 734-764-2220

Undergrads: Want to explore medical science at U-M this summer? Apply now for Medical School programs

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Forget snow and ice – it’s time to think summer at the University of Michigan Medical School for college students interested in medical science careers.

The school offers a range of experiences for undergraduates who want to get a taste of doing medical research and prepare for future graduate school, medical school and professional opportunities. All are free to students, and include stipends. There’s even one experience for high school students.

Deadlines are looming – most applications are due within weeks. But the hustle to get an application and recommendation letters in on time could be worth it.

Just ask those who have taken part in programs run by the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology that expose undergrads to research experiences in the science of how our cells and organs function and interact at the most basic level.

Those programs, called SURP, SURF and STEP, are funded by the National Institutes of Health and philanthropy. They’ve been so successful that NIH funding for the STEP program was just renewed for another five years.

Three recent alumni of the programs had this to say:

“I can confidently say that my experience with the STEP fellowship supplied me with the mentality and skills necessary to succeed in my graduate program and in a future career as an academic researcher.”


“It was the first full-time research experience I had engaged in and it has left an impact on me I still feel to this day. I know that I would not be where I am if not for the opportunities presented to me through SURF and the experience I gained.”


“This is where I truly fell in love with the search for underlying mechanisms of cellular anomalies. I was also able to present my research at a final symposium.... This provided invaluable experience in fielding questions and putting my research into a broader context for a larger audience.”

Ormond MacDougald, Ph.D., the physiology professor who co-leads the programs, along with Santiago Schnell and Jimo Borjigin, notes that summer research experiences help students prepare to apply to graduate programs at U-M and beyond. “Many of the students contribute substantially to research papers, and are included as authors on them, even as undergrads,” he says.

Below is a list of the programs based in the Medical School; there are other undergraduate science programs based in other areas of U-M that also related to biomedical science.

See the full list at 


Summer students 2

Recent alumni of the programs based in the Medical School's Dept. of Molecular & Integrative Physiology



  • Molecular and Integrative Physiology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) - Applications due Feb. 15. For undergraduate students interested in research in physiology and/or biomedical sciences, and especially those interested in research careers.
  • Short Term Educational Program (STEP) towards Digestive and Metabolic Physiology -Applications due Feb. 15. For students from quantitative backgrounds who wish to apply their training to research relevant to digestive and metabolic diseases
  • Summer Undergraduate Research in Physiology (SURP) – Applications due March 1. For underrepresented undergraduates to pursue research in heart, lung and blood diseases.
  • Cardiovascular Center Summer Research Fellowship – Applications due Jan. 31. For undergraduate students who are interested in cardiovascular research.
  • Cancer Research Summer Internship Program (CaRSIP) – Applications due Feb. 12. For students who wish to explore potential careers in the field of cancer research.
  • Department of Pharmacology Summer Research Programs - Applications due Feb. 29. Two programs, one for students with research experience who wish to pursue a Ph.D. in the basic sciences; one for students interested in pursuing basic science research who are from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, including those with disabilities.
  • Michigan Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Summer Academy (MHSURA) - Applications due Feb. 1. For undergraduate students interested in medicine and health disparities who want to explore biomedical research and health professional career pathways in a stimulating and inclusive environment. Particularly encourages applications from students from underrepresented minority groups in medicine, and from rural and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Michigan Health Sciences Career Development Academy : Applications due Feb. 1; focuses on preparing participants for the extensive process of applying and gaining admission into medical school, especially those with an interest in health disparities, those from underrepresented minority groups in medicine, and those from rural and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • For current 9th and 10th graders: Michigan Health Sciences Pre-College Exposure Academy: Applications due March 1; gives exposure to health professions to students from groups underrepresented in medicine or medically under-served areas, or who have an interest in combating health disparities.


  • The Medical School also offers the M-SMART program for students interested in a combined MD/PhD degree and career in academic medicine. Applicants must be from an educational, cultural or geographic background underrepresented in the sciences, or have experienced financial hardship, or have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Applications were due Jan. 15. 

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