Summer of Research
The UM-SMART program has helped 100+ undergraduate participants learn about MD | PhD training since 2008. After graduation, 77% of past participants entered MD | PhD, PhD or MD programs.
Participants in UM-SMART can expect to:
- Spend approximately 90% of their time under the direction of a faculty mentor in a research laboratory. The research experience is the core of the program and provides valuable experiences to support future applications. Students also have opportunities for professional development as detailed below. (We are not able to provide opportunities in public health, the social sciences or humanities).
- Receive a stipend of $4,700 plus double-occupancy dormitory housing on campus. A food allowance is provided to be used for meals at dining facilities on campus. Transportation costs up to $500 are reimbursed with receipts.
- Gain clinical exposure by participating in two half-day physician shadowing experiences
- Participate in self-paced online MCAT preparation
- Participate in a research symposium that includes an oral and poster presentation on campus with undergraduate students from other University of Michigan biomedical research summer programs
- Connect with a "Big Sib" student advisor who is currently in the MSTP; Enjoy several social activities with the MSTP fellows
- Attend UM-SMART specific seminars to learn more about the MD/PhD application process, career paths for physician scientists, and biomedical science
- Participate in a mock interview with a member of our Admissions Committee
Applicants belonging to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply. This includes:
- Individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, or
- Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or
- Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds such as family annual income below established low-income thresholds, or an educational environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career
To be considered for acceptance in UM-SMART, applicants must:
- Be a current undergraduate student (completed at least sophomore year by June 1, 2024). We do not accept students who are applying to medical or graduate school in 2023 for possible admission in 2024.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Have completed a physiology, biology, biochemistry or organic chemistry course, preferably with lab
- Have at least 100 hours of experience in a research lab by June 1, 2024
- Submit two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a research mentor or the instructor of a laboratory course
- Maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or above
- Show proof of health insurance
Applicants selected as finalists for the UM-SMART Program will be contacted to participate in a virtual interview.
My main goal was to determine if I wanted to apply MD/PhD. While my lab experience was relatively similar to my other labs what made a significant difference in my decision was being in a lab with an MSTP student and attending the retreat.”
This program was better than I could have hoped, and I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of it. Thank you for everything. It is clear how much the people here care about the students and want them to succeed, and ultimately learn.”
I felt like I achieved my goals as I created a workable schedule for myself and made sure to maintain it throughout the program, resulting in me being able to work diligently in lab, study hard for the MCAT after lab, and still maintain personal health. I had a fantastic summer!”
The goal of the UM-SMART summer research program is to help students decide if a career as a physician-scientist is right for them, and to enhance competitiveness when applying to MD/PhD programs.
The application for the UM-SMART Summer Undergraduate Research Program for summer 2024 opened on November 1, 2023. You can apply online here:
First, you will need to either register for or log into a SMApply account. If you need to register, click the green "Register" button in the top right-hand corner of the application page. Complete the required information and click "Create Account". More information available on setting up at SMApply Account:
Next, you will create an application. If you have not created any SMApply applications yet, you will click "View Programs", then click "MORE" for the UM-SMART Summer Undergraduate Research Program 2024 and click "Apply". If you have existing applications, click "Programs" in the top right corner, click "MORE" for the UM-SMART Summer Undergraduate Research Program 2024 and then click "Apply".
You will then need to complete the Application Form, upload your unofficial college transcripts and request 2 letters of recommendation. Once all materials are received, you will need to submit your completed application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the status of the letters of recommendation and submit their application. Only completed applications that are submitted will be reviewed.
The application deadline is January 19, 2024. All application materials including letters of recommendation must be received by January 19, 2024. Please note, you will not be able to submit your application until all materials are complete. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the status of the letters of recommendation and submit their application. Only completed applications that are submitted will be reviewed.
Completed applications are due January 19, 2024. The review process begins at the beginning of February and we anticipate informing applicants about virtual interviews at the end of February or beginning of March 2024. We anticipate notifying all applicants of their status by the end of March.
The UM-SMART summer research program is tentatively planned for Tuesday, May 28, 2024 to Friday, August 2, 2024. We anticipate residence hall move-in to be May 25, 2024. Program dates are not flexible. In order to get the most benefit from the program, you must be able to participate in laboratory work for about eight hours a day, five days a week for the duration of the 10-week program. All UM-SMART fellows are required to attend UM-SMART Orientation on the first morning of the program.
First, check to ensure that the email you entered is correct and there are no spelling mistakes. If the email is listed incorrectly, you will need to delete your request and start a new one. WARNING: Deleting the request will rescind the invitation and delete any progress the recommender may have made on their task. Once you send them another request they will be able to start a new recommendation form.
If the email is correct, have the recommender check their Spam/Junk Folder. If they aren’t able to locate the email in any inbox, Resend the Invitation. Click to edit the Get a Recommendation task and Resend the Invitation to them. Repeat step 2 if necessary.
If neither of these options resolve the issue, have the recommender contact the SM support team for Login Assistance. It is important that they contact the SM support team themselves with no CC's on the email.
Eligible applicants must have completed a physiology, biology, biochemistry, or organic chemistry course, preferably with lab. You also must maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average.
No, we do not accept applications from students who are true freshman. Students must have completed their sophomore year by the program start.
Yes, we do accept applications from undergraduate seniors graduating in spring 2024, however we do not accept students who are applying to medical or graduate school in 2023 for possible matriculation in 2024.
In order to be eligible for the UM-SMART program, applicants must have at least 100 hours of experience in a research lab by June 1, 2024. This is in addition to completing a lab associated with a science course. If at this point you do not have at least 100 hours of research experience, we recommend exploring additional research opportunities and applying in a future year.
No. We only accept U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents with a social security number.
Yes, at this time we are planning to provide double-occupancy residence hall housing on campus.
A food allowance is provided to be used for meals at dining facilities on campus.
UM-SMART Fellows working in a lab receive a stipend of $4,700. The stipend is paid in three payments over the course of the 10-week program.
Transportation costs to and from Ann Arbor up to $500 are reimbursed with receipts.
Each year we accept about 8 UM-SMART fellows.
The UM-SMART Program Director assigns labs and mentors based on research interest, availability, and mentoring expertise.