The Careers in Health and Medicine office encourages all students interested in a health and medicine professions to conduct hands-on laboratory research. Research requirements vary depending on the profession and professional school you are interested in. Working in a lab setting will help you to determine if a career in medicine or medical research is the right pathway for you. It is important to note that by “research” we mean hypothesis-driven (versus mechanistic, in which you may be building or constructing something) research in a lab setting. Clinical research is a strong asset as well, but its value lies mainly in patient exposure rather than the merit of the research project.


On Campus
  • Connect with a Professor: Some students gain lab experience by working with a professor. Usually, this is a professor the student has had for a class who has observed their strengths and sees their potential. When you take science courses get to know the professor and find out what kind of research they do. Ask if they are looking for research assistants. A great place to learn about what your professors research is on the department webpage.
  • Departmental Research Inquiries: Students can also seek opportunities beyond their own professors and major. You may want to reach out to biology, chemistry or physics faculty who are doing research that interests you. Look them up online to learn about their areas of research. 

The AAMC provides additional suggestions for procuring a laboratory position.

Off Campus (Academic Year and Summer)
  • AAMC Summer Enrichment and Pipeline Programs: The Association of American Medical Colleges maintains a database for summer enrichment and pipeline programs.
  • AAMC Summer Research Database: The AAMC Summer Research database is an extensive resource to help students locate and apply for summer research programs.
  • Child Family Health International: Child Family Health International provides unique exposure for pre-medical and pre-health students interested in Global Health, health disparities, and international medicineI.
  • Cornell Traveler’s Summer Research Fellowship: Cornell Traveler’s Summer Research Fellowship is a seven-week program designed to give premedical students deeper insights into the field of medicine, including issues that greatly affect the health of traditionally underserved groups. 
  • Cornell University Advancing Cornell Career Experiences for Science Students (ACCESS): Cornell University ACCESS is a 10 week program designed for undergraduate students to enhance their understanding of modern biology and medical research.*
  • Dialysis Clinic, Inc. Summer Internship: The Dialysis Clinic, Inc. Summer Internship is sponsoring a summer for pre-medical students in the clinical area of organ transplantation. The internship includes shadowing physicians on rounds in the hospital, observing and assisting in an outpatient/clinic facility, and observing transplant and transplant-related surgical operations.
  • Gateways to the Laboratory: Gateways to the Laboratory is a 10-week intensive journey for freshmen and sophomores about the challenging and rewarding road of becoming a physician-scientist.*
  • Handshake: Search the Center for Career and Professional Developments Handshake site for internships, full-time, and part-time jobs on and off campus.
  • National Institutes of Health: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers a competitive Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP). The application cycle opens in mid-November and it is to your advantage to apply early.
  • National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds a large number of REU: Research Experience for Undergraduates. The application process may differ for each REU host site.
  • Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine: Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine Summer scholars program is a rigorous five-week premedical program designed to give an intensive and realistic introduction to the first-year curriculum at the Heritage College.*
  • Summer Institute at Harvard-MIT: The Summer Institute in Biomedical Optics offers a unique opportunity for outstanding junior or senior undergraduate students considering a career in biomedical engineering and medical sciences gain real-world research experience.*
  • Summer Medical and Dental Education Program: Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SHPEP) is a free six-week summer program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions.
  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry Profile for Success: Profile for Success assists junior and senior level college students and recent graduates through the admissions process for dental school. Program participants will also have an opportunity to increase their knowledge of career opportunities within dentistry.*
  • Van Andel Summer Research Internship: The ten-week paid Van Andel Summer Research Internship at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids is designed to expose aspiring researchers and clinicians to exciting advances in biomedical sciences that will help define their career paths.

*Applications are encouraged from groups traditionally underrepresented, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and undergraduates who bring diversity to academic study by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests.