Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Skip to main content

NU-CURE: Cancer-Focused Undergraduate Research Experience

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center & Northwestern University Summer Undergraduate Research Program

CURE program participants

We invite underserved undergraduate students interested in biomedical sciences to participate in leading-edge cancer research and career exploration at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Participants will spend 8 weeks working full-time (35-40 hours/week) alongside top cancer researchers in state-of-the-art laboratories and help advance novel research projects in cell and molecular biology, cancer immunology, metabolism, clinical investigation, developmental therapeutics, genomics, population science, health disparities and other focus areas. Students will learn key principles of cancer biology and laboratory investigation, gain hands-on laboratory experience, explore possible career paths and receive career guidance through program seminars and activities, individual mentoring, and ongoing interactions with multidisciplinary researchers, students and colleagues in the Northwestern community.

Eligibility and Qualifications

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Standing as college freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior students in September 2022.
  • Demonstrated interest in the biological sciences with a strong record of academic achievement.
  • Able to commit to 8 full weeks of programming
  • Meet NIH criteria for one of the following (see the NIH website for definitions)
    • Underserved in biomedical science (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian)
    • Disabled
    • Disadvantaged

Program Information

Dates: The 2022 CURE program will begin on June 20, 2022 and conclude on August 12, 2022.

Stipend: Participants in the CURE program receive a taxable stipend of $4,500.

Housing and transportation: Students living outside the Chicago area will be provided with housing on the Evanston Campus of Northwestern University, as well as an allowance for air travel to Chicago. Students living in the Chicago area are not eligible for housing and are expected to arrange for their own transportation to campus each day. Trainees may be assigned to laboratories on either the Chicago or Evanston campuses, which are connected by a free shuttle bus.


Admission to the program is highly selective and based upon interest in the program, personal qualifications, academic achievement, letters of recommendation and space available. Mentors are assigned based on interests stated in the application (see below) and availability.

To apply:

  • Your complete application and 2 letters of recommendation must be received by midnight on March 1, 2022.
  • Complete the CURE online application
  • Arrange for letters of recommendation from 2 individuals, including at least one teacher, to be submitted online no later than March 1, 2022 . Individuals completing recommendations must use the online recommendation form.
  • Selected applicants will be invited to participate in an interview via Zoom during February.


Application Instructions:

Your complete application and 2 letters of recommendation must be received by midnight on March 1, 2022.

Access the program application form

Be prepared to provide:

  • Current school name and address
  • Cumulative GPA
  • Complete college transcripts (these don’t need to be official but must contain a complete record with your name and your school’s name clearly visible.)
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Responses to the following:
    • Why have you chosen to apply to this program? (250 words)
    • Describe your previous research experience. (250 words)
    • Describe a scientific research area or personal experience that has sparked your interest in cancer research (250 words)
    • How do you hope this program will help you advance your academic and career plans? (250 words)
    • Describe your skills, qualities and experiences that prepare you for the program’s demands and expectations. (250 words)
    • Describe your personal strengths that will make you an asset to your colleagues in the program. (250 words)
    • Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you? (250 words)

Application deadline: March 1, 2022

Zoom interviews: March, TBD

Notification: March 25, 2022

Commitment deadline: April 15, 2022

Program dates: June 20 - August 12, 2022

Contact Us
Director, Gina Kirsammer, PhD