Summer Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

The Department of Pharmacology offers a ten-week summer research program to a select group of undergraduate students. For 2024, the dates of the program are from June 3 to August 9. The summer program offers students a variety of experiences that will help prepare them for success in research-intensive doctoral programs, as well as for other professional school programs. Students will work on an on-going research project in the laboratory of a Principal Investigator in the Pharmacology department and have the opportunity to participate in seminars, journal clubs and take various graduate level classes.

This program provides rigorous research experience and students are expected to spend full-time (40-60 hrs/wk) in the laboratory. Accepted students must be committed to spending the full 10 weeks in the program (vacations during this period should not be planned) and summer classes or other outside activities should not interfere with research time.

At the end of the program, students will deliver a short oral presentation about their work to the department faculty, staff and students. A list of potential Principal Investigators with whom students can work can be found at these links: Faculty and Cross-Appointed Faculty. While we will do our best to place students in a laboratory of their choice, we cannot guarantee that the preferred laboratory will be available.

Prior research experience is not necessary, and students of all undergraduate levels are encouraged to apply. Foreign students are eligible to apply but must be enrolled in an undergraduate program in the United States and hold an active F1 visa that will allow them to participate in the summer program. The program allows students to return for a second summer to continue the research conducted during the first summer fellowship, or to conduct research in a different laboratory.

The summer program is made possible by a grant from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), funds provided by the Department of Pharmacology, as well as from federal grants awarded to members of the faculty. Selected students will receive a stipend ($4,000) to help defray the cost of participation in the program. This amount, intended to help cover the cost of lodging and meals, will be divided into two payments, which will be distributed at the first of July and the first of August.

On-campus housing is not available at UT Health San Antonio, however, we will work with summer participants to find appropriate housing, and roommates if desired. Extended-stay hotels are typically the best option and there are several extended-stay hotels within walking distance of campus.

In addition to a personal statement, unofficial transcripts and one letter of recommendation are required. Applications can be submitted at this link – Apply to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The application requires an unofficial transcript that reflects all courses being taken/pursued in the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024, at least one letter of recommendation and a personal statement (<1,000 words) that includes a description of your career goals, how the program will help you reach those goals, and a description of any prior research experience.

The application deadline is March 8, 2024. In general, applicants must be classified as undergraduate students, have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and have completed at least one semester each of college level Biology and Chemistry by the end of the spring semester of the year of application. Please direct any questions to the program director Dr. Bill Clarke.

Some comments from previous summer students:

“I had a blast and it exceeded my expectations!” (2023)

“I would recommend this program because having the ability to do research full time gave me some insight into what graduate school will be like. I also met some amazing people and had so much fun, it solidified the fact that I definitely want to be a scientist.” (2023)

“I would recommend this program because it provides you with valuable research experience and allows you to see what being a scientist is actually like. I had almost now previous knowledge of what grad school was or what a lab actually did so this program was very educational. Because of this, I would recommend this to my friends interested in pursuing research.” (2023)

“I feel like i truly got to experience the grad school environment and I gained a lot from the program. I especially liked the timing this year, as I got to see 3 dissertation presentations and several other presentations.” (2023)

“I was about 80-90% sure about graduate school before the program. Now I’m 110% sure and I can’t wait to graduate and get started in research!” (2023)

“This experience made me realize that I want to look into becoming a MD-PhD. Working on my specific project showed me how much we still do not know about women’s health and psychiatric disorders so I am inspired by my mentor to use research as a way to help people.” (2023)

“I listened to each person share their research updates during lab meetings and identify any challenges/unexpected results they encountered. It was helpful to hear the entire lab talk through possible explanations and make protocol changes.” (2022)

“The mentorship that I received <was beneficial>. I was not only able to learn incredible techniques but I also received support on my mindset and the nature of research itself.” (2022)

“The most beneficial part of this research experience is that was able to see the behind the scenes work that occurs in research. After reading scientific papers and journals in class, I am able to see the work and planning that goes into the final product. I was also able to see what working in this field would be like which is greatly beneficial in helping me decide my future plans.” (2022)

“I genuinely really enjoyed the program and the incredible people I met through it.” (2022)

“The program taught me so much that I hope to encourage others to apply as well!” (2022)

“I really enjoyed my experience in the program and I am incredibly impressed with what I was able to accomplish over the past summer.” (2021)

Everyday I felt I came home with something new to research and learn about. I would say the program is incredibly intellectually stimulating.” (2021)

“During the summer I spent a lot of time reading articles and applying the techniques I was reading about in the lab, it was very intellectually stimulating.” (2021)

“I had such a great summer experience! I joined an amazing lab and had the best mentors.” (2021)

*I had a amazing summer in my lab and learned a lot about the topic I was studying!” (2021)