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Summer Research Program

Program Description

The Partnership Summer Research Program offers college and medical trainees from the University of Puerto Rico System an opportunity to explore biomedical research as it relates to cancer, to gain firsthand experiences and mentorship in basic, clinical or translational research alongside world-renowned faculty, as well as to attend targeted institutional lectures and seminars. Trainees actively participate in the technical aspects of their projects, interpret experimental data, as well as present findings. Return visits are offered to trainees demonstrating a sincere interest in biomedical research and outstanding research ability during their visit.  

Program Dates

In general, program dates run approximately eight to nine weeks from June to August.


Under the guidance of a faculty members, trainees participate in hands-on research to acquire skills and practices needed to become accomplished, biomedical researchers. Trainees are mentored in the fundamentals of scientific research, which include application of techniques, experimental design and analysis, as well as how to present and publish findings suitable for peer review. Medical students are also introduced to the clinical problems presented by cancer patients and spend time in clinical areas. All laboratory and clinical experiences are supplemented by seminars presented by faculty on a wide variety of research topics.


All trainees are required to submit an abstract and a paper of at least 10 pages summarizing their experience. Trainees will also present their work at the Summer Research Program symposium held at the University of Puerto Rico.

Travel and Housing Support

A stipend is awarded to subsidize students' expenses so that they may participate in the program. Trainees also receive round-trip airfare from San Juan to Houston, housing at Rice University (walking distance), as well as compensation for meals.

To Apply

Applications may be obtained at either of the offices listed below or download the college student application (pdf) or the medical student application (pdf) from this site. All applications must be submitted in English and will not be considered complete without a student letter, official transcript with grades and letters of recommendation. Applications must be sent first to Dr. Ilka Rios at the address listed below by December 1st. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. All applications will be reviewed by the Training Program Co-leaders, as well as two additional review members.

For More Information

Ilka Rios, D.M.D., M.S., Training Program Co-leader
U54 Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research
UPR - Medical Sciences Campus
Office A-142-B, Main Building
PO Box 365067
San Juan, PR 00936-5067
Phone: 787-758-2525 Ext. 1223

Sunit'a Hamilton, Program Coordinator
Summer Research Program
MD Anderson Cancer Center
1400 Pressler St.. - Unit 1440
Houston, TX 77030-4009
Phone: 713-563-0570
FAX: 713-563-2974

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center