Who is considered “underrepresented in medicine” and in the biomedical sciences?

Recently the National Institute of Health (NIH) released a diversity statement encouraging institutions to prioritize opportunities in biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences for individuals from groups identified as underrepresented. Based on national data analyzed by the National Science Foundation, the following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research and health-related sciences: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

For the purposes of SRTP, MGH follows the definition of underrepresented in medicine and biomedical research (UiM) of the NIH and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). UiM groups may include Latino/ Hispanic (including Brazilian), African-American/Black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaskan Natives, among others. Please note that Asians are not considered UIM, UNLESS they are underrepresented relative to the population MGH serves, e.g., Cambodian or Laotian.

Sources: AAMC , NIH and the National Science Foundation

“I’m Pakistani/Indian/Middle Eastern/White/Eastern European/East Asian. Am I eligible?” 

While we accept all applications, the program is rooted in the mission of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI)  and aims to reach UiM students, as defined above.

“Do you consider someone from a low socioeconomic background and/or disabled to be underrepresented in medicine?”

While we accept all applications, the program is rooted in the mission of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and aims to reach UIM students, as defined above.

What distinguishes SRTP from other summer research programs?

A personalized research experience:

  • Once accepted to the program, we work diligently to match students with an MGH researcher in one of the student’s top three areas of interest. (Please note that depending on the development of the COVID 19 pandemic at the time of the preceptor matching we may not be able to match in your top areas of interest)
  • Offers the opportunity to conduct novel research in a vast variety of biomedical science and health policy research areas.

Hospital based exposure:

A structured program curriculum:

  • Weekly faculty-led didactic, career development, and leadership sessions
  • Individual mentorship, guiding students towards the next step in their careers
  • Development of scientific writing and presentation skills, including abstract writing and a final presentation of a research project
  • Social outings to Red Sox and/or New England Revolution games
  • Networking opportunities with residents, fellows, faculty, and MGH Youth Scholars 
  • Free housing in Boston’s near Harvard Medical School
  • An amazing experience and value! (Program valued at > $9,000.00)

Is prior research experience required?

No previous research experience is required for admission to SRTP.

What are the specific qualities that make a candidate successful?

We are looking for students who have the following qualities:

  • Students who follow and comply with all the application requirements and eligibility criteria.
    Please review the program eligibility prior to applying.
  • Mature students who are looking for an opportunity to show that they have what it takes to succeed in high-level research
  • Students who are professional, punctual and participate fully in all aspects of the program
  • Are assets to the program and the other students in it

 I want to work with a specific faculty member – should I identify them in my research interest section? 

We encourage students to NOT identify a specific researcher by name. Please focus more on describing your top areas of scientific inquiry in as much detail as possible. We work diligently on matching students and preceptors in an effort to find the best overall learning research environment for the student.   Additionally, please do not contact specific researchers/physician-scientists on your own.

Is orientation mandatory? 

Yes, there is a REQUIRED ORIENTATION on the first day of the program.  During this first day of your summer experience, we cover an extensive amount of important information, as well as host panels with former students and faculty.  Please note that prior to orientation; you will have to complete mandatory MGH paperwork.

Do I need to attend the full eight weeks?

Yes, EIGHT WEEKS ARE MANDATORY.  We understand some medical schools extend longer than the start date or start earlier than the last day of the program.  In these cases, we may be able to accommodate your schedule upon request (while still completing 8 weeks of research).  You would still need to attend orientation on the first day of the program.  Otherwise, we expect all students to start on time and end on time.

Where can students find information about previous SRTP projects and potential research areas at MGH?

Information about former participants and their projects is available on our SRTP alumni profiles page.  Information about all MGH research can be found online: MGH Research Institute.

APPLICATION PROCESS [including Recommendation Letters, Medical School Letter of Good Standing, and Transcript(s)]

 How do I apply?

We will updated this item when our new system is ready.

Can I begin my online application and then go back to it at a later time?

Yes, you can save and return later to your application at any time.

Should letters of recommendation be from science professors only?

No, not necessarily. They can be from faculty members, laboratory advisors, or academic mentors who have worked closely with you.

In the online application, you ask me to name my recommenders and provide their email. Does this mean SRTP contacts them directly?

No, this is your responsibility.  Please list the two academic references that will be writing your recommendation letters in support of your application.  Direct your recommenders to complete and upload their recommendation letter by COPYING and EMAILING them r link. Please make sure you provide the email you used for our online application.

All letters must be on official letterhead, signed, and uploaded as a pdf.

When do I need a letter of good standing?

Only medical students whose school does not provide transcripts need a letter of good standing.  Please provide your medical school administrator with this link to complete and upload the letter of good standing: 2021 SRTP Medical School Letter of Good Standing.

Do you accept online management programs for official transcripts?

Yes, your school administrator must send these to our email: srtp@mgh.harvard.edu.

What if my school can’t email the transcripts?

If your school can’t email the transcripts you must:

Upload the unofficial copy

Can I just email you a copy of my grades?

No, we require official transcripts to be upload in the system.

Can my supplemental materials be sent in BEFORE I complete my online application? 


Click here to read more about program eligibility