Mentor/Mentee Summer Fellowship Program


This 11-WEEK program reserved for University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh campus) undergraduates runs  May -  August. The program includes:

Research in a faculty laboratory. All students work in a lab in the Department of Biological Sciences or Neuroscience.

Mentoring activities.  Mentor and mentee undergraduates from different labs work in pairs and small groups to discuss challenges in research and build a diverse life sciences research community.

Seminar series and workshops.  Students share their own research and learn about research at Pitt through twice-weekly meetings including journal clubs and career-building activities.  The summer ends with a symposium filled with posters and talks presented by summer mentor and mentee fellows.

Who should apply?

  • Mentees: Pitt freshmen, sophomores, and transfer students NEW to research OR having spent less than 1 semester working in a lab in the Department of Biological Sciences or Neuroscience.  Applicants should want to continue in the same research lab after the summer ends and want to participate in science activities to enrich our diverse and vibrant research community.
  • Mentors: current sophomores and juniors already doing research in Department of Biological Sciences or Neuroscience labs, with strong interest in mentoring students new to research and building a diverse and supportive research community.

What are we looking for?

The Department of Biological Sciences is committed to building a community of students with diverse backgrounds and scientific interests if the life sciences. Students with a curiosity to discover more about the biological world and who want to work with other undergraduates to increase our understanding of biology are ideal applicants.

How to find a lab if you are new to research?

We will help you. Come to the Undergraduate Research Poster Session, advertised yearly for January or February. Undergraduates NOW in labs will be available to answer questions about life as a student researcher and tell you about how they found a lab. See if you are interested in their research, or talk with us about where your interests may be.

In addition, please read faculty descriptions of their research on the faculty web pages and/or talk with the Departmental Advisors.

Application Materials

Interested students should submit either a New Undergraduate Researcher Application or a Current Undergraduate Researcher Application. In addition, if the applicant is already in a lab , the faculty sponsor should submit a Faculty Application.

Questions about the application, or about the Undergraduate Research Poster Session, may be directed to Nancy Kaufmann.

The application deadlines are in the application and differ for Current Researchers and New Researcher. 


The University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Researchers Mentor/Mentee Summer Fellowship provides funds to University of Pittsburgh undergraduates for immersion in a research experience and participation as an active member in our biology department community. As such, a full time commitment is expected. During the duration of the fellowship, recipients may not enroll in academic courses. Outside employment is highly discouraged and the fellows may not hold a job at Pitt. The following activities are required:

  1. Intensive "hands-on" with an established research laboratory. The majority of this work must occur during standard work hours to support the development of our mentored research community.
  2. Participation in a twice weekly seminar/workshop series.
  3. Presentation and participation in a research symposium at the end of the summer.
  4. Evaluation of the program and response to post-graduation surveys as requested.

Matching New Fellows with Laboratories

To build a stronger community of researcher, this grant provides funds to start students in research early in their careers. Approximately half of the fellowship recipients will be new to undergraduate research, and many will be finishing their freshman year. New students will have the opportunity to learn about specific faculty research laboratories at an Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium and can read about research labs on the Research web page. New students will list research faculty laboratories of interest on their application. Faculty and new students will have the opportunity to meet at an interview prior to student placement in the laboratory. Acceptance into the fellowship will be dependent on acceptance into a faculty laboratory.


Each fellow will be awarded a stipend of ~$3800.