Summer Undergraduate Internship Program (SUIP)

Welcome to SUIP

The University of Pennsylvania Summer Undergraduate Internship Program is a 10-week intensive summer research opportunity for undergraduate students, especially those who embrace and reflect diversity in the broadest sense, interested in pursuing careers in scholarly research. Interns will be matched with a Principal Investigator (PI) based on shared research interests. Throughout their time at Penn, interns will work with PIs and other lab mentors to develop laboratory and research skills essential for future graduate school experiences. In addition to laboratory work, interns will participate in seminars that will enrich their understanding of science, participate in professional development workshops, graduate school preparation seminars, and have the opportunity to present at the SUIP Symposium. SUIP is designed for students who aim to pursue a PhD or an MD-PhD in biomedical studies.

Summer Program Dates

The 2024 program dates are Monday, June 3, 2024 to Friday, August 9, 2024 (tentative move-in dates: Saturday, June 1, 2024 and Sunday, June 2, 2024). Participants can expect to engage in lab and program activities for approximately 40 hours during the week.

Participants must commit to participating for the duration of the program dates.


Residency requirement: The program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. We cannot accept applications from international students who do not meet residency requirements at this time.
Applicants must be enrolled in a four-year college for the fall semester after the program ends. Graduating seniors are not eligible to participate. Although it is not required for applicants to have prior research experience, preference is given to applicants who will have completed their sophomore or junior year. Students must be able to attend the full 10-week program. Individuals from under resourced backgrounds that have been historically excluded from the biomedical sciences including but not limited to first generation college students, socioeconomically disadvantaged, attend small liberal arts colleges and universities with limited research opportunities, live with a disability, and/or who bring diversity to biomedical sciences by reason of their culture, class, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests are encouraged to apply for the program.


Each intern receives:

  • a competitive stipend ($5,500)
  • On-campus housing,
  • meal plans, and
  • transportation costs for one round trip to the University of Pennsylvania.

SUIP Affiliated Programs

SUIP-DAPPG (Diversity Action Plan in Genomics), SUIP-CCI (Center for Cell and Immunotherapies), and SUIP-CFAR (Center for AIDS Research) are affiliated programs with SUIP. Students are selected to the affiliated programs based on their research interests. Applicants do not need to complete a separate application to be considered for these programs. All compensation is the same as the general SUIP. Applicants who apply to an affiliate program will also be considered for the general SUIP program.

If you would like to be considered for an affiliate program, please indicate which one in your personal statement. If admitted into an affiliated program, students still will participate in all SUIP activities and will be offered additional research specific content and activities based on the affiliate group.

The aim of the Diversity Action Plan for PENN Genomics (DAPPG) program is to increase the number of underrepresented students choosing a career in genome sciences and genomic medicine by providing opportunity for hands-on genomics research. The program supports summer research internships and post-baccalaureate programs, designed to augment student’s training for application to professional degrees.

Faculty Contacts: 

The Center for Cellular Immunotherapies hosts a Summer Undergraduate Internship Program in cancer and cellular immunotherapies. Participating laboratories have the general goal of understanding how the immune system interacts with cancer and developing interventions to improve anti-tumor immunity. This field of study represents an intersection of cancer biology, immunology, cellular and molecular biology, and bioengineering.

Faculty Contact: Avery Posey (

SUIP-CFAR (Center For AIDS Research) Scholars will engage in mentored HIV/AIDS research. Research topics include HIV basic/translational science, clinical/behavioral science, implementation science, and HIV prevention research. SUIP-CFAR scholars will learn key concepts in the biological, clinical, behavioral, and community-based AIDS research and will build their professional skills.

Faculty Contacts:

Application & Admissions

Application & Admissions Process:

Applications for SUIP 2024 open on October 1st, 2023 via the Penn application. All applications are due on February 1st, 2024 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. All components of the application, including letters of recommendation, must be received by the deadline. Incomplete applications or applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered. 

Applicants who wish to apply through the Leadership Alliance, the application portal opened on November 1, 2023 and will close on February 1st, 2024 at 11:59PM.

Applicants can submit an application through Penn’s portal (link) or via the Leadership Alliance (link).Our holistic evaluation process considers all components of the application. The research & personal statement should describe your meaningful research experiences and career goals and be used to share how your personal history, identity, and experiences motivate your choice to pursue a PhD, and the challenges you have overcome to get to this point. The letters of recommendation should include at least one from a research mentor, preferably the most recent one. The community statement should describe how your personal perspectives will shape and be shaped by engagement with the Penn community.

  • Completed online application form via Penn’s application (link), or via the Leadership Alliance (link). Applications are accepted through both platforms and are considered equally.
  • Research & Personal Statement- A statement describing your interest in pursuing research, any meaningful research experiences you've had up to this point, your academic and career goals and that shares how your personal history, identity, and experiences motivate your choice to pursue a PhD, and the challenges you have overcome to get to this point.
  • Community Statement- A statement describing how your personal perspectives will shape and be shaped by the engagement with the Penn community (150-200 words).
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic faculty or advisors
  • Most recent unofficial undergraduate transcript
  • Resume/CV

  • SUIP applicants who apply through the Leadership Alliance should follow the instructions on the Leadership Alliance’s website (link).
  • SUIP applicants should apply following the instructions below if they are applying through Penn’s application. This includes those applying to SUIP affiliate programs.
    • Create an account following the link.
    • Begin the application with your personal information.
    • You will be prompted to select which “graduate” program you are applying to.
    • Select “Biomedical Graduate Studies, Perelman School of Medicine”
    • Select “SUIP” and “Summer 2024”.
    • In the “Recommendations” section, please provide the contact information for two (2) recommenders. An automated email will be sent to the email address(es) provided for recommenders to submit their letters. All recommendation letters are due by 2/1/24 at 11:59PM.
  • In the “Program Related Information” section:
    • Applicants will be asked to select a graduate group of interest. Applicants can refer to the Biomedical Graduate Studies page for more information about graduate groups (link).
    • If applicants are interested in an affiliate program, applicants can indicate their choice in this section.
    • Follow the remaining prompts.


The University of Pennsylvania is part of the Leadership Alliance. We accept applications for SUIP that are submitted through the Leadership Alliance summer research program portal (link). We will consider all SUIP applications regardless of which application platform students use.

In a 2 page document (8.5”x11”) with a minimum of 0.5’ margins and at least 11 pt font, describe your academic interests and career goals. If you have had any research experiences, please describe them. State your specific scientific interests and any particular research areas or techniques you'd like to explore. We encourage applicants to share their lived experience to document their journey and story, which is valued and considered high priority for our reviewers. Please upload your statement with your application. Please upload your statement with your application.

Your transcript must include all semesters/terms attended at your primary institution. Please also include any study abroad transcripts. Unofficial transcripts will suffice.

Two letters of recommendation are required. Letters from academic faculty who know you personally and can comment on your academic abilities and your aptitude for research are highly encouraged. Requests for letters of recommendation will be sent through the application portal to the email that applicants provide.

SUIP Overview

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to preference mentors based on their research interests. SUIP interns' lab placements are determined with consideration for the mentor's availability and the student's interests.

Mentors are drawn from a group of over 600 faculty associated with Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) at the University of Pennsylvania. The mentors we work with have a strong commitment to helping students and extensive experience mentoring, training, and teaching students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff.

Research areas available to SUIP students include:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Cancer Biology
    • Cell Biology and Physiology
    • Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology
    • Gene Therapy and Vaccines
    • Genetics and Gene Regulation
    • Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Genomics and Computational Biology (These faculty are also involved in our DAPPG program)
  • Immunology
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology

IDEAL Research Fellows, who are current graduate students or postdoctoral fellows, will serve as mentors for summer interns. Fellows will lead programming, team building activities, and excursions to explore Philadelphia. Our Fellows are passionate about helping interns succeed and working towards the mission of diversifying STEM.

SUIP sponsors the Summer Seminar Series, a sequence of talks about timely issues in biomedical sciences presented by distinguished Biomedical Graduate Studies faculty. The seminars provide interns with an opportunity to discover the breadth of research taking place at Penn and beyond.

Interns enjoy a variety of events including concerts and performances, trips to local museums, visits to historical sites, and social events with current graduate students and program staff. The University of Pennsylvania has several summer programs and there are many free events on campus that are open to our interns. Philadelphia is a great city to visit, and an even better place to live.