A summer research fellow pipetting samples into a tray

Patient-oriented research fellowship at Mayo Clinic

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The Summer Research Fellowship was created to address the need for clinical investigators from diverse backgrounds. The health needs of U.S. minority populations have been studied inadequately, due in part to the shortage of clinical investigators belonging to underrepresented groups.

Although the number of clinicians belonging to underrepresented groups has increased, there has not been a corresponding increase in clinical investigators. Students often believe the choice between clinical medicine and research is an "either/or" decision. This unfortunate misperception is not true for patient-oriented clinical research.

Training in patient-oriented research

Patient-oriented research is the study of research questions that have direct clinical application. Many questions fall at the interface between basic and applied research, within the area of clinical research studies.

The Summer Research Fellowship was created through grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Mayo Clinic. This comprehensive training program, which lasts eight weeks, prepares underrepresented students for careers in clinical care and patient-oriented research.

The goal of this NHLBI research education program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce in the mission areas of importance to NHLBI. These NHLBI mission areas are biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences research and training to address cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases as well as sleep disorders.

As a student at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, you will be matched with Mayo investigators based on your professional interests and will spend eight weeks conducting research. You will experience dynamic basic or clinical research while working with nationally and internationally recognized scientists and clinicians.

Students usually participate in the program in the summer between their first and second years of medical school.

In addition to your research projects, you will attend seminars and presentations that introduce clinical research methods and the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS).


You are eligible for the Summer Research Fellowship if you:

  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent resident enrolled in a U.S. medical school that is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Have completed one year of medical school
  • Are a current medical student in good academic standing
  • Can commit to a minimum appointment of eight weeks
  • Are a member of a group that Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science considers underrepresented:
    • Black/African-American
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Native Hawaiian or U.S. Pacific Islander
    • People with life-altering disabilities
    • Other racial and ethnic groups considered to be underrepresented in medicine and biomedical research

Financial support

The Summer Research Fellowship award is $7,000 for eight weeks, plus flights to and from Rochester, Minnesota. From this stipend, students are responsible for their own housing, meals, and personal travel.


How to apply

Online applications are available on Sept. 1 preceding the summer of appointment. Applications are reviewed in early February and offers to interview are sent. Appointments are made in late February to early March or until spots are filled. Early application is recommended.

Application instructions

Complete the following steps to apply:

  1. Create an account to begin the online Application for Admission
    • Select - Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    • Select - Summer Research Fellowship (SRF)
  2. Complete each section of the application and submit
  3. After submission, view the required Supplemental Items and Documents
    • Upload each required item in the Supplemental Items section
    • Complete the Recommendation Request section

Additional required items

  • Answers to prompt questions
  • Personal statement
  • Letter of good standing/medical school verification
  • AMCAS documents
  • Three letters of recommendation are required and must be completed in the Recommendation Request section. Each recommender will receive an email with a link to complete a rating form and upload a letter
  • Unofficial or official college transcripts may be uploaded in the Supplemental Items area for application purposes

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