The CDI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships allow undergraduates interested in pediatric disease to work full time in research labs doing such projects. The application process is competitive, requiring students to find a mentor, write a research proposal, and obtain two letters of recommendation. In addition, the faculty committee reviews transcripts and other information from student records. In 2018, 127 applications were received and 65 fellowships were awarded. Fellows work for at least 10 weeks, full-time during the summer and participate in lab meetings and relevant journal clubs. The program culminates with the Undergraduate Research Symposium in October, where each student presents a poster or a talk on their research. A typical applicant pool has many students whose projects are related to children’s health and/or whose mentors are affiliated with Children’s Hospital/Pediatric research labs. CDI has funded this program for 12 years and has supported 147 students to date.
· Introduce Washington University undergraduates to cutting-edge pediatric research.
· Encourage them to explore independent research projects.
· Learn how to communicate their research findings.
Potential impact on child health
Student participation in research will accelerate medical advances in the area of pediatric diseases and provide training opportunities for the next generation of pediatric researchers and physician scientists.