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High School Program

Summer Fellowship Program in Biomedical Research

Wistar’s Summer Fellowship Program in Biomedical Research provides an opportunity for students to enhance their understanding of current biological/biomedical theory and research tools and techniques at a nationally recognized nonprofit research institution.  Wistar scientists and their laboratory teams serve as program mentors guiding students through the planning and practice of daily research experiments and activities.  Students learn research skills together, taught by a team of mentors, and individually as each student trains in a principal investigator’s laboratory for the duration of the program; under the direction of the laboratory head, the student is assigned a unique research project related to the research goals of that particular laboratory.  Students are integrated into the daily work of the laboratory, participating in laboratory meetings and gaining exposure to different facets of the laboratory's research.  Mentors help students apply their current knowledge and skills and assist them in making the connection between laboratory experience and their academic studies.  The program includes a weekly lunchtime seminar series presented by Institute scientists and an introduction to research library skills development.

At the end of the summer, students are required to give an oral presentation with slides, as well as prepare a final written report describing their research project, techniques and processes learned, and how the experience was useful to the student both academically and personally.  The students meet periodically with their mentors to prepare and review the content of the oral presentations and written reports. Students are expected to devote 35 hours a week to the program. Students are given a stiped to defray commuting or other expenses they are expected to incur.

To Apply

Interested students should submit a one-page letter describing their research interest and career goals.  The letter should also include a phone number/email address where the student can be contacted.  A letter of recommendation from a science teacher and a transcript should also be submitted. The deadline for submission is typically at the end of March. This material should be sent to: 

Dr. William Wunner, Director, High School Training Program
The Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA  19104

The selection process will include an interview of qualified candidates.


Questions regarding this program can be directed to:

Maria Colelli, Coordinator of The Wistar Institute High School Programs, at 215-898-3774 or


The Wistar Institute gratefully acknowledges generous support for these high school programs from GlaxoSmithKline and the Gray Charitable Trust.