Diversity & Outreach/ Undergraduate Research Internships

2015 MIT Summer Research Program
in the Neuro & Cognitive Sciences and Related Fields

See article in Science Careers for how to maximize your summer experience

Application Deadline: January 30, 2015

MIT undergraduates are not eligible for this program. If you are an MIT undergrad, see the UROP Program website.

Students studying abroad are not  eligible. Graduate students are not eligible.

Only current undergraduate students (sophomores and juniors) studying full time in the US are eligible for this summer program, NO EXCEPTIONS.

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT offers a 10-week summer research-intensive training in biological and biomedical-related fields to advanced sophomore and junior science majors from other colleges and universities. This summer internship program is funded in part by the MIT's School of Science and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Students interested in engineering and other disciplines unrelated to biologyor neuroscience should apply to the general MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP).

The summer program is primarily designed to encourage students from under-represented minorities, first-generation college students, and students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds to attend graduate school and pursue a career in basic research, by providing them the opportunity to conduct supervised research in a top-notch research institution, in a supportive learning environment with plenty of interaction with graduate students and faculty.

This summer program provides a unique opportunity for students who do not have access to top-notch research facilities at their own institution to conduct supervised research in state-of-the-art research facilities. 

Preference will be given to applicants from non-research intensive colleges and universities.   Foreign students are not eligible UNLESS they are enrolled full-time at a college or university in the US on a student visa. Students studying abroad are not eligible.

Program description

Students accepted into the program receive their 10-week training in one of over 100 research laboratories affiliated with the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Department of Biology.

Students conduct supervised research and receive practical training in areas such as Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Chemical Biology, Computational Biology, Systems Biology, Developmental Biology, Human Genetics, Genetics, Genomics, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Human Disease, Neurosciences, Cognitive Sciences, Structural Biology, Systems Biology, or Virology.

In addition students receive training in reading and discussing scientific research papers, are exposed to scientific writing, practice giving oral presentations about their summer research and meet with various faculty to discuss scientific careers.

Students accepted into the program receive:

  • Campus housing
  • A weekly stipend
  • Travel allowance to and from MIT (domestic travel only)
  • An MIT email account
  • Subsidized pass to the athletic facilities
  • Wireless internet access
  • Access to the MIT Medical Department
  • Students are expected to work full-time in the laboratory, to participate in weekly meetings with faculty, and to attend weekly academic seminars. The weekly seminars cover such topics as applying to graduate school, giving an oral presentation, writing a research abstract, learning about various career options available to Ph.D. graduates.  These seminars are designed to help students improve their presentation skills and to be more competitive applicants.

    During the summer, students have several opportunities to give oral presentations on their research. At the end of the program students give a poster presentation on their research, submit a 5-page research summary, and a one-page personal statement about their summer experience at MIT.

    In addition students are invited to participate in weekend social activities, visit a local Biotech, and visit Boston and its vicinity. Students take a guided tour of Boston and the Freedom Trail, a one-day trip to Martha's Vineyard, and a 4th of July barbecue. Other activities may include a visit to historic Salem, a day at the beach, or a Boston Harbor cruise.

    All of the students in the MIT summer program live together on campus in shared suites with kitchens. This housing arrangement promotes social interactions and provide a wonderful opportunity to forge long-lasting friendships with peers in the program.

    Program eligibility and application

    Applicants must:

  • be full-time undergraduate students at an institution in the U.S.
  • be sophomores or juniors who have successfully completed introductory courses in the biological sciences
  • maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA in the science courses.
  • have demonstrated an interest in basic research and in a career in the sciences.
  • Applicants must use the on-line system.

    The on-line application will be automatically turned off on January 30 at 5:00 PM. Late submissions will not be accepted. Therefore it is NOT A GOOD IDEA to wait until the afternoon of January 30 to submit your application.

    A complete application consists of:

  • The filled application form
  • Three letters of reference from science faculty (at least one must be from a research mentor or lab supervisor). Please note that applicants must submit a letter of reference from their most recent research experience.
  • Original college transcripts
  • A personal statement of interest and career goals
  • A list of research topics of interest
  • Direct questions to msrpbio@mit.edu (no phone inquiries please)


    Poster Presentation:

    Effective Posters (pdf)

    For more information, please contact:
    Mandana Sassanfar, Ph.D. 
    Outreach Officer
    MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
    Bldg. 46-2051
    Email: mandana@mit.edu