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The application window for the 2024 PURPOSE summer program is now open. Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2024.

PURPOSE: Program for Undergraduate Research & Professional Development

PURPOSE, the summer research program in the Department of Regenerative & Cancer Cell Biology, promotes the development of research and communication skills that are critical for success in graduate school and careers in research. Through personal interactions with our faculty mentors and academic enrichment activities, our program provides participants with a gateway to graduate education.

Students spend eight weeks in a laboratory participating in daily hands-on research. Each week, students engage in group enrichment activities designed to strengthen their scientific, academic, and professional development.


Eligibility is restricted to highly motivated students who have completed their sophomore or junior years in an undergraduate college program in General Biology, Cell & Molecular Biology, or Biochemistry with a clearly stated interest in pursuing a career in research. We will consider academic records, reference letters, and an interest in pursuing graduate education and a career in research when selecting participants.

About the Program


  • Provide exceptional research experiences in Cellular and Molecular Biology with focus on topics in Cancer and Regenerative Cell Biology
  • Participants will learn more about graduate programs at RCCB and how they will support students in their pursuit of graduate degrees and research careers
  • Group enrichment activities will teach students how to ask scientific questions, select research techniques, and develop presentation skills to communicate scientific findings

Participants will:

  • Have hands-on laboratory experience
  • Explore research opportunities available in RCCB
  • Prepare professionally for future research, careers, and advanced degrees
  • Learn how to create and build a strong CV and cover letter
  • Develop professional communication skills
  • Prepare for future academic interests and professional pursuits
  • Discover personal interests

Students will participate in leading-edge research on projects in diverse areas, including:

  • Cell and molecular biology of human disease
  • Control of cell growth and differentiation
  • Cancer biology
  • Molecular therapeutics

Participants will attend weekly meetings to support the development of their professional skills in:

  • The scientific method
  • Designing research questions
  • Tools for applying to graduate school
  • Advanced presentation skills

Contact Us

Feel free to reach out with questions:

Ralf-Peter Czekay, PhD
[email protected]

Apply for the 2024 PURPOSE summer program here. Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2024.