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Training Program

Potential Research Opportunities
for Agnew Members

This is a very limited list of funding sources that previous members of the Agnew Society have considered for funding. A more comprehensive list can be found at the SOM’s Combined Degree office here.

Short Term Opportunities
Agnew Society First Year Fellowship Program
Penn Surgery has a summer fellowship program that can include research as a component of the experience. It is a six-week fellowship for med students during the summer following the first year of medical school. This unique program affords pre-clinical students the opportunity to interact one-on-one with a surgeon on the Penn Faculty, learning about his or her day-to-day activities and helping out in the operating room, office and laboratory. The specifics of the projects involved are left to the discretion of the surgeon and student, though the student must put together a presentation summarizing the experience for the Agnew meeting of the following school. The department provides a stipend ($500) for the six-week period, and applications are judged on the strength of the proposed projects as well as the students expressed interest in surgery. A $500 stipend is available for travel if you will be presenting your work (receipts must be submitted). Contact Dr. Cary Aarons at with questions. For more information and to apply, click here.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) through the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation is offering the AANS Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship (MSSRF) program . The fellowship is open to first or second year medical students in the United States or Canada who wish to spend a summer (minimum of two months) working in a neurosurgical laboratory, mentored by a neurosurgical investigator who is a member of the AANS and will sponsor the student. Fifteen Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships at $2,500 each will be available each year but only one fellowship will be awarded per school. For more information and to apply, visit here.
American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS)
Summer Intern Scholarship Program
The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Summer Intern Scholarship program introduces the field of cardiothoracic surgery to first and second year medical students from North American medical institutions. By providing an opportunity to spend 8 weeks during the summer working in an AATS member's cardiothoracic surgery department, the summer intern scholarship provides medical students with insight into the scientific investigation and study of cardiothoracic surgery. A grant of $2,500 is provided to successful applicants to underwrite their living expenses during the eight weeks of guidance at the selected host institution. Additionally all awardees will receive complimentary registration to the association's 2011 Annual Meeting and postgraduate courses taking place May 7-11 in Philadelphia, PA. For more information and to submit an application, visit here.
Note: this program provides some research exposure, but it is not exclusively research oriented like the other listings on this website.
American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation -
Seed Grant Research Program
The American Medical Association Foundation awards grants to medical students, physician residents and fellows to help them conduct small projects in basic science, applied, or clinical research. The AMA supports these research areas: cardiovascular/pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, leukemia, and neoplastic diseases. The award can support research-related expenses including lab supplies, poster printing, software, and travel for international research. It can't be used for a stipend or for other administrative costs. For more information and to apply, visit here.
American Urological Association Foundation -
Herbert Brendler Summer Medical Student Fellowship
The AUA Foundation is proud to provide the Herbert Brendler, MD Summer Medical Student Fellowship Program, designed to encourage medical students to join the field of urology through a summer fellowship program. Applicants must be either a current medical student or entering medical school immediately following the fellowship period. The sponsoring institution must be an accredited medical research institution or department of urology within the geographic boundaries of the AUA Sections. The institution must sponsor the candidate by guaranteeing adequate support, including responsibility for the adequacy of the environment, laboratory equipment, and supplies needed to perform the research. The mentor must be a currently funded, established researcher with a strong track record of achievement in basic science, clinical research or some other area of interest in urology research. The mentor must also demonstrate experience in mentoring of research fellows. For more information and to apply, visit here.
American Vascular Association -
Lifeline Student Research Fellowship
The Lifeline Student Research Fellowship, established by the American Vascular Association, a foundation of the Society for Vascular Surgery, stimulates laboratory and clinical vascular research by undergraduate college students and medical school students registered at North American Universities. Each award will consist of a $3,000 student stipend and a two year complimentary subscription to the Journal of Vascular Surgery. The American Vascular Association will grant a maximum of eight awards per year. For more information and to apply, visit here.
Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America Student Research Fellowship
This program offers financial support for students to spend time performing research on topics relevant to inflammatory bowel disease. The objective of the Fellowship is to stimulate interest in research careers in inflammatory bowel disease by providing salary support for research projects. Stipended fellowship awards will be available for full-time research with a mentor investigating a subject relevant to the disease. The duration of the project is a minimum of ten weeks. For more information and to apply, visit: and click on Research Grant Opportunities. Click here for a pdf of the webpage.
Harvard Medical School Summer Research Fellowships
in Vascular Surgery
(William J. Von Liebeg Summer Research Fellowship)
Four student research fellowships are available for 10-12 weeks of summer research training in molecular and cell biology, biomechanics, coagulation and thrombosis, and angiogenesis, with a focus on clinically relevant problems such as atherogenesis, intimal hyperplasia, prosthetic/host interactions and thrombosis. Trainees will pursue a program of intense research activity. This training program, Harvard-Longwood Research Training in Vascular Surgery, is designed to provide medical students with an initial exposure to vascular surgery research. Students will carry out their research projects under the guidance of a faculty advisor, selected from renowned vascular researchers based at four Harvard Medical School hospitals: the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's, Children's Hospital (Boston), and the Joslin Diabetes Institute, as well as The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The fellowship has a summer stipend. For more information, visit their website.
Kevin Heaney and Judi Marvel Charities
Summer Brain Tumor Research Fellowships At CHOP
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Division of Neurosurgery offers two summer research fellowships for medical students during the summer following their first year of medical school. The fellowship programs offer a unique combination of basic research opportunities with clinical/operating room experience alongside neurosurgeons. Each fellowship offers a $2500-$5000 stipend. For more information and to apply, email Dr. Adam Resnick at and/or Dr. Phillip Storm at
Oregon Health & Science University Campagna Scholarship
in Neurological Surgery
The scholarship supports a summer semester of research under the supervision of a neurosurgical mentor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and resident expenses in Portland, OR. Scholars will receive $5,000 for support of travel to and living expenses in Portland. Students in their first or second year of study are eligible to apply. While the fellowship guidelines say the program is 10 weeks, we have checked and they will permit Penn students to participate, even though our summer break is closer to 8 weeks. Third year students may also apply as long as they get a letter from the Dean confirming that they can have 10 weeks at OHSU. For more information, click here.
Year Out Programs
Other than the Orthopaedics Medical Student Clinical Research Award, no program is exclusively designed for surgical research, but program directors (especially with the Doris Duke) are often open to projects involving surgical research. Other programs can also be found at the Combined Degree Office Website!
American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

The Fellowship has been designed to help a student initiate a career in cardiovascular research by providing research assistance and training. Supported research includes that broadly related to cardiovascular function and diseases, stroke, or to related basic science, clinical, behavioral and public health problems. Eligible participants include MD students seeking research training with a sponsor/mentor prior to embarking on a research career. The Fellowship's duration is one to two years, with a stipend support of $22,000.00 per year.

For more information and to apply, visit here or call the Great Rivers Affiliate Office at (410) 637-4539 (410) 637-4539.

American Society of Nephrology - Student Scholar Grants
The ASN Student Scholar Grants enable selected medical students with an interest in either basic or clinical research to spend from 10 to 52 weeks engaged in full-time research. The mentor must be an ASN member and must submit a program of study for the applicant. Grants are awarded on the basis of the applicant's ability and promise for a research career as a physician-scientist and the quality of the training that will be provided. An award period can be a summer, semester, academic year, or other 10-52 week period of continuous full-time research. Compensation includes a stipend, money for the PI's lab to cover expenses, and travel costs to attend the ASN meeting the year following the research program. For more information and to apply, visit here.
Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowships

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) sponsors a program which allows students to take a year out to receive didactic and hands on clinical research training. The DDCF currently funds clinical research training programs at twelve institutions: Penn, Columbia, Harvard, UCSF, University of Iowa, University of North Carolina, University of Texas - Southwestern, Wash U., Mt. Sinai, Yale, University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins. Each institution is committed to offering at least five fellowships. Six institutions (including Penn) have additional opportunities for international fellowships. Penn has two international fellowships in Botswana. The stipend for each Fellow is $28,000 per year with additional funds for research-related expenses. The DDCRF website includes links to the application form and the Penn DDCRF website provides more detailed information.

Check out the powerpoint presentation that Dr. Angie DeMichele, DDCRF Program Leader, gave at the September 29, 2010 Year Out Research Programs Information Session.

HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program (Cloister Program)
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health (HHMI-NIH) Research Scholars Program enables medical and dental students to spend 9 to 12 months conducting basic, translational, or applied biomedical research in one of the laboratories on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The program includes rental housing for all Scholars together on the NIH campus and student selection of preceptor and research project after arrival in Bethesda. Scholars will receive annual compensation of $28,000, health insurance, and other benefits. HHMI offers approximately forty students the opportunity to participate in the Program after completing the second or third year of medical school, but this time frame is flexible. The emphasis of the research is on genetics, immunology, cell biology, neuroscience, structural biology and epidemiology & biostatistics. Upon the completion of the Fellowship students can apply for a second year at the NIH. After the conclusion of the program, a small number of students will be selected to receive continued support of up to two years while completing studies toward the M.D. degree. Scholars must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. All students considering applying for this fellowship should contact Dr. Celeste Simon (, HHMI investigator at Penn and former member of the fellowship review panel. She is an excellent source of advice on the application process. For more information and to apply, visit:
HHMI Research Training Fellowships
For Medical Students Program (Medical Fellows Program)

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowships for Medical Students Program enables medical, dental, and veterinary students at schools in the U.S. to spend a year conducting basic, translational, or applied biomedical research at any school or nonprofit research institution in the United States, except at the NIH in Bethesda, MD. This includes joint initiatives with the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) for students conducting research in ophthalmology, particularly inherited retinal degenerative diseases, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) for veterinary students. Fellows will receive a stipend of $28,000, a fellow’s allowance of $5,500 that may be used for health care and other expenses and a $5,500 research allowance.

A new initiative, the Medical Research Fellows Program at Janelia Farm, offers students with an interest in neuronal networking and/or imaging an intense year-long research training experience, living and working at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia in the Washington, D.C., area. Students must comply with specific eligibility and application requirements. For further information, visit here.

A second new initiative, through a HHMI and GM Trust (GMT) partnership, will fund up to one research fellowship for a medical student doing research in a field related to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The purpose of the initiative is to foster the development of physician-scientists conducting research in DMD. The year-long fellowship will begin in the summer of 2011 and students may apply during any year of medical school. Applicants in the last year of medical school must defer graduation until completion of the fellowship. For students interested in this opportunity, feel free to contact Dr. Hansell Stedman ( His lab has ongoing projects that cover the gamut from bioinformatics/ gene discovery to cardiovascular surgery/gene transfer/pathobiology in animal models for genetic cardiomyopathy.

All students considering applying for this fellowship should contact Dr. Celeste Simon (, HHMI investigator at Penn and former member of the fellowship review panel. She is an excellent source of advice on mentorship selection and the application process. For more information and to apply, visit here.

For students interested in Ophthalmology at Penn, feel free to contact Dr. Joshua Dunaief (, Click here, for further information.

Medical Student Research Training Program (MSRT) at Penn

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) provides 9 - 12 month fellowships to two medical students to conduct basic science and translational research at Penn in diabetes, endocrine and metabolic diseases, hematology, renal disease, gastroenterology, or urology. Medical students in good standing who have completed at least two years of medical school and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply. The stipend is $21,180 for a full year. In addition, $4,200 for research support and $1,000 for travel to scientific meetings will be allowed. It is expected that mentors will be selected from those already participating in these training programs. There is a two-part application process: 1) selection of the top two candidates by Penn's NIDDK MSRT advisory committee and 2) final decision on funding by NIDDK. Up to 4 students from Penn may be supported. No more than 2 students may be supported by the same training program area . All students considering applying for this fellowship should contact Dr. Anil Rustgi ( Completed applications are due to the Combined Degree Office, 104 Stemmler. More information on potential mentors and the application process, including specific grant areas, is available here.

Check out the powerpoint presentation that Dr. Andy Rhim gave on behalf of Dr. Anil Rustgi at the September 29, 2010 Year Out Research Programs Information Session - click here.

Orthopaedics Medical Student Clinical Research Award at CHOP
The CHOP Benjamin Fox Orthopaedic Research Scholar Award promotes clinical research by giving an extraordinary medical student the opportunity to investigate pertinent topics in clinical research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. While there are several funded year-out programs for medical school students to conduct research, this award is unique because it is specifically designed for students who are interested in pursing a career in Orthopaedic surgery. The funded year-long experience will be supervised by Dr. John M. Flynn. Students are eligible to apply for this award if they are currently completing their second or third year of medical school (preference is given to students who've had experience in clinical rotations). Additionally, the student must be in good academic standing and must have an interest in pursuing a career in Orthopaedic Surgery. The recipient of this award will receive a $20,000 stipend for one year. For more information and to apply, visit here or click on the following: Description and Application.
Stanley J. Sarnoff Fellowship in Cardiovascular Research

The Stanley J. Sarnoff Fellowship in Cardiovascular Research affords medical students, who have completed their second or third year, the opportunity to spend a full twelve month period in an area of research related to cardiovascular disease at an institution other than their home institution. Up to 20 fellowships are awarded each year, nationally. Fellows receive a stipend of $27,500 and additional research-related funds. All students considering applying for this fellowship should contact Dr. Jon Epstein ( who functions as the advisor for our student(s), and in this role, works to identify an optimal research project and monitor progress. All fellows are expected to make a presentation of their research at the Sarnoff Annual Scientific Meeting . For more information and to apply, visit here.

Check out the powerpoint presentation that Dr. Jon Epstein gave at the September 29, 2010 Year Out Research Programs Information Session.

Many other awards found on the combined degree office website can be applied to surgical research. You just need to be creative!
If you have specific questions about these grants, please check out the website or contact Amy Nothelfer (

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