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Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Applications for Summer 2021 Available Now

Application deadline: January 25, 2021 (Monday) at 5pm PST

Check out the 2020 Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Brochure!

Group photo of Bio-X USRP students.

Group photo of Stanford Bio-X USRP 2017 participants.

Introducing undergraduates to the excitement of interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of knowledge is essential for training a new generation to participate in discovery. The Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program (Bio-X USRP) began in 2006 and has provided over 700 undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct hands-on and virtual research, build awareness of interdisciplinary areas, and network with Bio-X faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and each other. This formative experience influences their subsequent work at Stanford and beyond. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Bio-X delivered on this promise to our undergraduate cohort of over 70 students and provided an amazingly fruitful  program.

In Summer 2021, the Bio-X USRP will award the equivalent of the VPUE/UAR major grant to each student for a 10-week period of full-time research (June 21st to August 27th). Students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields are encouraged to apply.

To create a community that they can learn from and network with, all students, regardless of whether they are engaged in hands-on lab work or virtual research, will attend:

  • Weekly faculty talk series that exposes students to cutting edge research taking place on campus
  • Weekly research sessions, a journal club and peer share meetings, where students analyze manuscripts and share the progress of their own research with their peers
  • Research showcase event at the end of the summer

This comprehensive summer experience extends beyond the lab, with additional optional programming including a variety of workshops and a wet lab training series, which will be offered to introduce students to new research techniques and to further develop existing skills.

Interested applicants must submit a completed application by the deadline, fulfill Stanford Bio-X program commitments, and be in compliance with university eligibility requirements.

Application Details:

  • The Stanford undergraduate student may come from any department on campus, and their mentor must be a Bio-X affiliated faculty member (cannot be consulting faculty). A list of Bio-X affiliated faculty may be found here. To become a Bio-X faculty affiliate, please email us.
  • Co-terms who have not conferred their undergraduate degree may apply if the project fits into their undergraduate academic trajectory, e.g., honors thesis, capstone project, etc. Students paying graduate tuition on or before Summer 2021 are ineligible.
  • The application may be completed by the student or faculty mentor after they have collaborated and agreed on a project. 
  • The faculty mentor must email their confirmation of mentorship by the application deadline for the application to be considered.
  • All proposals must include a remote project option. Proposals that do not have a remote project plan will not be considered.
    • If you are living on campus and have been approved to use on-campus facilities, you must include documentation indicating official approval of both housing and facility usage in your proposal.
    • The remote project plan is a version of the project that can be done remotely from a student’s place of residence.  This remote option must not involve:
  1. any in-person engagement,
  2. local, domestic, or international travel,
  3. on-campus project facilities,
  4. or project facilities at other institutions or organizations.
  • Both on-campus (hands-on lab work) and remote plans must be for a full-time effort (35+ hours per week). For each, the following will be asked:
    • Describe the project in 100 words.
    • How is it interdisciplinary?
    • Who is the direct mentor?
  • Preference will be given to projects which are interdisciplinary in nature and are explicit in the methods (knowledge, techniques, or other skills) that the student would learn during the 10 weeks.

Stanford Bio-X Program Commitments:

To accept the award, students are required to confirm virtual participation in our:

  • weekly faculty talks
  • weekly research sessions,
  • culminating activity showcasing their summer research

Virtual attendance will be expected of students, regardless of their location (in lab or at home). Students will be given advance notice of the schedule to ensure they work with their faculty mentor to prioritize these commitments.

Bio-X will also be providing supplementary educational programming, skill-building seminars, and more, in which participation is encouraged.

Exceptions to participation in the events or other absences from the program are not at the discretion of the faculty/mentor and must be discussed with the Bio-X program personnel prior to making any arrangements. If the student chooses to enroll in up to five units of coursework or work an additional position for up to 10 hours per week (policy details below), they must provide Bio-X with the schedule prior to the start of the program. Additional commitments cannot conflict with Bio-X programming; if taking an additional internship, job, or volunteer position, it cannot occur during work hours.

University Policies and Eligibility:

  • Time commitment: Full-time means devoting 35+ hours/week for 10 consecutive weeks, i.e.,  it is the student's primary activity that quarter
  • Flex Term requirement: Students can only participate in the Bio-X USRP Summer 2021 by taking a Flex Term
    • Students must have completed two full-time enrolled quarters this academic year by the time the Bio-X USRP project begins - these quarters do not have to be consecutive
    • Students may take their Flex Term on campus in their cohort-designated quarter in Summer IF participating in an approved research project
    • Participation in Bio-X USRP does not make the student eligible to live on campus during your Flex Term
    • International students must consult with Bechtel before attempting to take a Flex Term without three quarters of full-time enrollment first.
  • Flex Term Considerations:
    • Remember: You are only allowed 1 Flex Term per academic year.  University policy states that you must have enrolled full-time in 2 quarters of the current academic year before you can use your Flex Term for a full-time research opportunity.
      • If you want to participate in Bio-X USRP Summer 2021, you must be enrolled full-time in at least 2 quarters out of Autumn, Winter, or Spring (does not have to be consecutive quarters)
  • Outside Commitments and Concurrent Course Enrollment:
    • Other Stanford funding: Students are only eligible for one full-time experiential learning funding opportunity from the University during the 2020-21 academic year
      • Bio-X USRP participants are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise), including but not limited to:
        1. Haas Summer Fellowship/Cardinal Quarter
        2. Departmental Grant-supported summer research position
        3. Faculty Grant-supported summer research position
        4. Other full-time summer fellowship or internship
    • The above opportunities represent a significant time commitment and are intended to support a student’s unique full-time effort on a project
  • Students may not receive both academic units and a stipend for any single project activity.
  • Students are permitted to enroll in up to five units of coursework during the Flex Term in which they are engaging in Bio-X USRP
  • Bio-X USRP participants are permitted to work at an additional internship, job, or volunteer position for no more than 10 hours per week
  • Students who participate in Bio-X USRP cannot enroll in five units and work 10 hours per week during a Flex Term synchronously

Stanford Bio-X reserves the right to rescind funding at any given point and time should they be apprised of any policy violations as outlined above or if the commitment to our summer programming is not met.

Important Dates:

  • Completed applications (including email confirmation of mentorship from faculty) are due by 5:00pm PST on January 25, 2021.
  • Zoom interviews for the finalists will begin on February 11, 2021.
  • The full-time ten week commitment to the program is from June 21st to August 27th, 2021.

Reference Materials:

  • A list of Bio-X affiliated faculty can be found here.
  • A list of Stanford faculty who have previously mentored students in the program is available here.  (You are not limited to faculty members on this list.)
  • Please see previous projects here.

Questions? Email



Please review all of the program details and requirements above before applying.

Application Form