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BYU Summer Premedical Research Internship Program

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN—November 1st - December 15th

History of the BYU Summer Premedical Research Internship Program (SPRI).


The BYU SPRI was founded by two physicians and BYU alumni, Britlyn Orgill and Josh Jaramillo, to enable students to obtain high-quality research experience at leading medical schools in the country.

In 2017, Drs. Jaramillo and Orgill began recruiting faculty on their campuses (Stanford and Harvard, respectively) to provide summer research experiences for BYU premed students. Although this program started with just a few students the first summer, more than 40 students each year are now offered experiences. These experiences have been funded typically at $4,000 (remote) to $10,000 per student to enable them to live and work across the country for 12-16 weeks. Funding has been obtained through the Simmons Center for Cancer Research at BYU, the BYU College of Life Sciences, BYU Student Life, the BYU Medical Society (byumed.byu.edu) and faculty at the hosting institutions.

As the program has developed, faculty members at other prominent universities have expressed interest or have been recruited to participate. Interns now can pursue research at Vanderbilt University, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Washington University-Saint Louis, John Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania. We hope to add new positions for summer 2023, potentially at Duke University and Loma Linda University.

The goal of this program is to eventually provide summer research internships for 50 BYU students. Alumni of the program have gone on to prominent medical schools throughout the country. We have highlighted a few of the students below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • This internship program is designed for students pursuing a career in medicine as a practicing physician or a physician researcher. It is intended for students preparing to apply for medical school--not for those who have already applied or received admission.
  • BYU alumni and friends of the University actively recruit faculty from various medical schools and research hospitals to participate in the program. Faculty physician mentors indicate their interest in and then join the program. Interested students submit their application between November 1st and December 15th. In January and early February, faculty mentors review applications and select those students with whom they want to work. Students generally are interviewed by one or more interested faculty member. Once an intern is selected by a faculty member, we work with the Simmons Cancer Center, the College of Life Sciences, BYU Student Life, and other organizations to determine funding for each year. We are working diligently to fund each student selected although this is not always possible.

    We expect that students will spend between 12 and 16 weeks conducting research within the lab of each mentor. Preference will be given to those students intending to stay closer to 16 weeks as this benefits both the student the lab/mentor. Students often will join large, ongoing projects or on occasion they can develop their own research project. Students responsibilities vary widely and can include literature review, hypothesis development, execution of projects, data gathering, data analysis, and write-up and dissemination.
  • Funding can vary depending on the particular position and project, the host institution's location, how many weeks will be worked, and the available funding for each given year. Most positions are fully-funded ($8-9,000 for the summer) whereas others are only partially funded ($4000). Remote work is often possible or desirable and as no travel is involved, funding amounts are reduced.
  • Students can participate in a wide range of projects. Students have participated in research experiences in oncology, cardiology, anesthesiology, global health, endocrinology and many others. Some projects require technical coding or data analytics skills whereas others will involve bench work or 'wet lab' work. Some involve data gathering and interviewing, whereas others may require working with animal models. A wide range of projects is available. It is not possible for us to describe which particular projects are available with each mentor as they work flexibly to determine project assignments based on availability, student interest/skillset, etc.
  • We generally have former students who have completed the internship answer questions as they clearly know the program 'on the ground'. Preprofessional advisors and some faculty mentors are available as well; however, given time constraints, we may not be able to answer all specific questions. Email tyler_pedersen@byu.edu for more information. You can see some spotlights of prior interns here: Summer Intern Spotlights This link will take you to an introductory meeting which answers many questions about the program. Fall 2022 Internship Introduction
  • PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY.

    The application portal will be available November 1st. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE DECEMBER 15th.

    First:
    Research the labs and primary investigators that you are interested in working with. They are listed HERE. You will be asked to rank order labs from most desired to least. Please be aware that we will be adding labs throughout November. You may want to wait a few weeks and come back here to review new labs prior to submitting your application.

    Second:
    Complete some basic information, rank order labs and submit the following through this Qualtrics Link .

    Make sure each of these documents is titled as Firstname_Lastname_Resume (etc.). You will upload the following documents as part of the Qualtrics application.

    * Upload a one-page Resume
    * Upload a 1-2 page Cover Letter describing your interest in the program, medicine in general, and any particular research interests you may have. You may direct your cover letter to specific types of research (say cancer) but know that this may limit opportunities with other labs not focused in this area.
    * Upload a .pdf of your AIM Academic Record Summary or unofficial transcript.

    Third:
    One letter of recommendation is required. We will accept no more than two letters. Please have recommenders put your first and last name in the file title of the letter. You can inform letter writers that only the application review committee (PPAC advisors) and the mentors will have access to any of these letters. You can send mentors this link: https://byu.app.box.com/f/579623c3b0cb49a6bcadbc50be036f2f

    Fourth (very important):
    A. If you have any interest in working in a cancer-related lab then you MUST complete the summer fellowship application from the Simmons Center for Cancer Research on campus. Without applying for their program, you will not be eligible for funding to work on cancer research. https://sccr.byu.edu/fellowships
    Please complete their application through this link.
    B. If you are a student in the College of Life Sciences, we encourage you to consider applying for the CLS summer research fellowship application. You do not have to complete this application unlike last year. Their application can be found here.
    C. We encourage all students to talk to their departments to see if any other funding may be available.

    You will be asked on the SPRI application whether or not you have submitted these other two applications. Again, please contact Dr. Tyler Pedersen, tyler_pedersen@byu.edu, if you have further questions.