Summer Equity Research Program

Interested in research, medicine, nursing or dentistry?

Thinking about graduate school?

The deadline for the 2014 Summer Equity Research Program application has passed. The application is now closed.

Applications for the 2015 Equity Research Program will be available in December.

Join our mailing list || Download the flier

The OHSU Equity Summer Research, Dental and Medicine Internship Program offers:

  • Equity Summer ResearchAn exciting opportunity to spend eight  weeks working with faculty and graduate students in a research setting, learning new skills, and gaining hands-on experience.
  • Weekly seminars and meetings with fellow students and faculty to discuss ongoing research.
  • An opportunity to present a poster presentation of your summer research project.
  • Ongoing, personal mentoring about your individual career pathway from OHSU faculty .
  • Clinical experience.
  • A paid stipend during the program.

The Summer Equity Research Program typically starts in mid-June. Equity interns will be selected in early April, and will be funded to work 40 hours per work during the program. Interns working with physicians in a health care setting will be required to shadow one day a week. Weekly shadowing schedules are flexible.

Read the Program Outline

Learn more about the Equity Tracks

Who Should Apply

By the program starting date, eligible students will have completed at least one full year of college coursework. The most competitive applicants will have completed coursework in the basic sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, neuroscience, biopsychology) and mathematics. The program is only open to applicants who have experienced social or economic disadvantages:

  • Economically disadvantaged students are defined as individuals who come from a "low income family," using low income levels specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a guideline.
  • Socially disadvantaged students come from an environment that may inhibit them from obtaining knowledge, skills or abilities required to enroll and successfully complete an undergraduate or graduate course of study that could lead to a career in the health sciences. This category includes but is not restricted to students whose parents did not attend or complete college.

What do I need to do to apply?

The 2014 application cycle has ended. Use the checklist below to plan out all required materials for the next application cycle, which starts in December. It is ideal for all components of the application to be submitted at the same time:  

  • College transcripts 

Mail sealed transcripts to:
OHSU Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Attn: Equity Research Program
Mail Code 601
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239

  • Current Resume

  • Essay, in which you describe your career goals, activities, intellectual interests, future educational plans, the reason you would like to participate in this program, and explain how this internship would further enhance these goals. Discuss any research that you have done, and tell us if you have any particular area of interest for your summer internship. The more explicit you are with your research interests the better we can match you with a mentor.Two letters of recommendation.

  • Two recommendation letters. Students must use this Recommendation Form (follow the instructions). One of the letters must be from a college science teacher. The second recommendation can be from a community leader, teacher, coach, counselor, etc. To submit, upload both recommendations as part of the online application, or email cdi@ohsu.edu       


The Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) at 503 494-5657 or email CDI.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a qualified candidate for the program?

You qualify if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have completed at least one undergraduate college year by the start date of the program
  • Have completed coursework in the basic sciences and mathematics
  • Have experienced significant disadvantage: economic, educational, ethnic / cultural, family circumstances, etc.
  • You are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.

Are International students eligible for this program?

Unfortunately, no.

How many positions are available?

The number of available positions usually depends on funding and the availability of mentors. Last year, we welcomed 15 interns to the Equity program. 

When will I find out if I was accepted?

We expect to notify all applicants in early May.

Is it possible for me to take other courses during the summer program?

Summer Equity Research interns are in the laboratory full-time, from approximately 8 am – 5 pm every weekday. In addition, interns are asked to prepare a poster presentation of their research project and may be asked to attend other seminars. Therefore, it is not advisable that interns pursue other coursework during the program.

How are mentors chosen?

We strive to match scholars and mentors based on research interests, however not all OHSU researchers are available to serve as mentors during any given summer. The more explicit you are about your research interests, the better we can match you with a mentor and lab.

Where will I be doing my research?

You will be in your mentor's laboratory on the main OHSU campus in Portland, OR. Some mentors have lab space at the Veterans Administration (VA) facility located on campus.

I don't live in Portland. Is housing available?

Limited support may be available for housing assistance. Please indicate on the application if you need housing.

What other research opportunities can you suggest for me?

Research experience is invaluable if you plan to apply to a graduate program. We recommend that you check the OHSU employment website for research assistant positions.

Will the program pay for my travel?

The program does not typically have funds to support participants' travel to Portland. The program directors may consider supporting travel if sufficient funding is in place.