Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Lurie Cancer Center Undergraduate Summer Research Internships


We invite undergraduate students interested in biomedical and health sciences to participate in leading-edge cancer research and career exploration at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Participants work full-time (35-40 hours/week) under the mentorship of top cancer researchers in state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities help to advance novel research projects in cell and molecular biology, cancer immunology, metabolism, clinical investigation, developmental therapeutics, genomics, population science, health disparities, bioinformatics and other focus areas. Immersive research training is complemented by faculty lectures, skills workshops and career development activities. Students will learn key principles of cancer biology and biomedical investigation, gain hands-on research experience, explore possible career paths, receive career guidance and individual mentoring, and develop a foundational community of multidisciplinary faculty, researchers, students and colleagues at Northwestern.

Undergraduate students may participate in one of two cancer research internships at the Lurie Cancer Center:

  • ACS-DICR American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research internship
  • NU-CURE Northwestern University Cancer-focused Undergraduate Research Experience

Both programs aim to support diverse, committed, innovative future leaders in cancer research whose efforts will improve the lives of cancer patients, their families, and the larger community

Eligibility and Qualifications

  • Enrolled as college freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior students in September 2024
  • Demonstrated interest in the biological/health sciences with a strong record of academic achievement
  • Able to commit to full time work for the duration of the program
  • Northwestern faculty and staff and their relatives are ineligible.
  • Applications are particularly encouraged for individuals who meet NIH criteria for one of the following
    • Underserved in biomedical science (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian)
    • Disabled
    • Disadvantaged
    (see NIH website for definitions)

Program Information

Program Dates:

  • CURE program: 6/10/24  –  8/2/24 

  • ACS-DICR program: 5/28/24 – 8/2/24 

Stipend: Participants who complete the program receive a taxable stipend of $5500, paid in 3 installments.

Housing and transportation: Students are responsible for arranging their own housing and 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. Programs are unable to provide student housing for the 2024 program.


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 and mentor availability. Students may rank up to 5 mentors on their application. **Placement with any preferred mentor, or in any specific research area, cannot be guaranteed.

Application Instructions:

  • Complete the 2024 LCC summer research internship application for both programs here:
  • Your complete application and 2 letters of recommendation must be received by midnight on January 27, 2024. Early application is encouraged to ensure available space.
  • Arrange for letters of recommendation from 2 individuals, including at least one teacher, to be submitted online no later than January 27, 2024. Note: Recommendation requests are sent to these individuals automatically when your application is submitted, therefor, please submit applications with sufficient time for recommenders to respond.
  • Select applicants will be invited to interview via Zoom with potential mentors and program staff on an ongoing basis through February.

     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.)
  • Name and email addresses for two individuals who will provide your 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: January 27, 2024.    

Zoom interviews: Ongoing through February. 

Final Notifications: March 15, 2024

Commitment deadline: April 1, 2024

Program dates: CURE: June 10 - August 2, 2024; ACS-DICR: May 28- August 2, 2024

Contact Us both programs)

CURE Program Director, Gina Kirsammer, PhD
ACS-DICR Program Director: Benette Phillips, PhD
Program Coordinator: Sara Duffey, MSW
Program Administrator: Samantha Bynum, MA