About the Program
Medical Students Summer in Oncology at Anderson Research (Med Students SOAR) is a program funded by the National Cancer Institute (R25 CA265800-01A1) under the directorship of Marites Melancon, Ph.D.; Jillian Gunther, M.D, Ph.D.; and Vickie Shannon, M.D.
Our program seeks to support participation of 25 first-year medical students in a rigorous, hands-on research experience for 8 to 10 weeks during the summer.
The major objective of the Med Students SOAR program is to promote broader physician participation in all aspects of supporting and engaging with cancer research. Under the mentorship of our renowned faculty, students will not only develop technical and laboratory skills through individualized research projects but also learn about delivering research-driven multidisciplinary and personalized oncology care. This is accomplished through lectures, workshops, clinical observations and simulation trainings. This program aims to promote and support the long-term pursuit of careers in basic, translational and clinical cancer research.
- Increase students’ knowledge and skills in oncology research and clinical oncology subspecialties
- Offer students an extraordinary opportunity to network with other postgraduate trainees and to develop professional relationships with world-renowned faculty mentors, which may inspire students to pursue further research training
- Develop and refine communication skills across different scientific disciplines
The program includes the following activities:
- Hands-on investigative scientific research directed by MD Anderson faculty
- Opportunities for clinical observation in radiologic, medical and surgical disciplines
- Lectures designed to expand medical students' knowledge of scientific fields and medical disciplines
- Interprofessional clinical simulation
- Communication skills workshops and seminars
- End-of-program presentation of research projects
Deadlines and Important Dates
Deadlines are subject to change
- After the deadline, the program directors score the applications and may conduct interviews, if needed.
- Awardees must complete time-sensitive onboarding procedures between February and June.
- The summer interns must participate the entire length of the 8- to 10-week program, full-time (8 a.m.-5 p.m.), Monday – Friday and in-person. Partial participation (i.e., early or late program start/end) is not permitted.
| Application opens for 2024
|| November 27, 2023
| Application deadline (Phase 1)
||January 17, 2024|
|Application reviews||January to February 2024|
|Program Start||June 3, 2024|
|Med Student SOAR Final Exposition||August 8, 2024|
|Summer program end||August 9, 2024
Phase 1: Applicant Inquiry Form
- Personal Information
- Current Enrollment
- Official Transcript
- Test Scores, MCAT
- Statement of Research Experience and Interest
Phase 2: Log on to Slate and complete the final application steps
- Recommendation Letters (Two letters are required.)
- Additional Demographics and Future Plans Form
- Internship Questions Form
- Academic Awards and Honors
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and legally approved to be in the United States during the entire length of the summer program.
- Must be in good academic standing who have completed their first year at a Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)- or Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)-accredited U.S. medical school.
- Must have interest in cancer research – basic, translational or clinical.
- Must commit to the full 8- to 10-week program without other summer program commitments.
Stipend and Other Support
This internship pays $17 per hour ($6,800 before taxes over 10 weeks) and is funded by an R25 grant award from the National Cancer Institute (R25 CA265800-01A1).
Stipend Payment Schedule
Students will be paid on the 5th and 20th of each month via direct deposit.
Work Schedule and Financial Support
- All students will work full-time at 40 hours per week. Normal hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Exact work schedules are subject to the primary mentor's needs and expectations.
- Awardees should not participate in concurrent employment or courses during this program.
- This internship does not provide health benefits, paid sick leave, paid vacation, or holiday pay.
- Additional financial support include up to $600 for research funds.
Application opens November 27, 2023. The following information will be required:
- Personal information (e.g., name, email, etc)
- Current enrollment information (i.e., current school and enrollment dates)
- Official Transcript of Records
- Resume/CV (Please use our resume/CV template.)
- Statement of Research Experience and Interest (700 words):
- Describe your research interests, prior experience, and future goals
- How does training in oncology relate to your career interests/goals?
- What are you hoping to gain or achieve from this summer experience?
- Two letters of reference with contact information. At least one reference should come from a professor who has taught you in a class. The other may be from another professor or an advisor/mentor with whom you have worked during the past four years. (Please see our guidelines for letters of recommendation.)
- Launch the Application: Click the 'apply here' link at the top of this web page after November 1 to launch the Inquiry Form.
- Read the required three (3) sections before completing the inquiry form: 1) Please Read Before You Apply, 2) Additional Documents Required If Selected As A Final Candidate, and 3) Onboarding Contingencies That Require Early Action
- Complete the Inquiry Form and upload the required documents:
1. Personal Information (e.g., name, email, etc.)
2. Current Enrollment (i.e., your current school and enrollment dates)
3. Upload Resume/CV
4. Upload Official Transcript
5. Statement of Research Experience and Interest (i.e., Personal Statement). Character limit: 700 words.
Double-check these items before clicking the SUBMIT button. The Slate system will not accept revised documents.
- Create your Slate Account. After clicking the SUBMIT button, you will receive an email from MD Anderson Education & Training (email@example.com), subject line: "Complete your Trainee Position Inquiry Request." Follow the instructions and click the hyperlink in the email to create a Slate account and request your letters of recommendation.
- Complete the Application:
1. Read the Application Instructions
2. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation: In the Recommendations screen, enter the contact information for both individuals who will write your letters of recommendation. Ideally, recommenders should be anyone who has known you for more than a year and preferably a faculty mentor, professor, research lab manager, or other professional in academia. After the applicant enters the recommender's information in the Slate system, the recommender will receive an email notification from firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line "Recommendation Request from YOUR NAME for MD Anderson Cancer Center" and a link to upload the letter of recommendation to your account. You will receive an email when the letter has been successfully uploaded.
3. Complete the Additional Demographics and Future Plans form
4. Complete the Internship or Graduation Requirement form
5. Complete the Academic Awards and Honors form
Note: There is no submit button in the "Complete the Application" stage. To check the status of your application, log on to your Slate account and select 'Status' from the menu. Your application is complete when all sections are complete and both letters of recommendation have been uploaded to your account.
Marites P. Melancon, Ph.D.
Professor, Interventional Radiology department, Diagnostic Radiology division
Jillian R. Gunther, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology department, Radiation Oncology division
Vickie R. Shannon, M.D.
Professor, Pulmonary Medicine department, Internal Medicine division