Mentor/Mentee Summer Fellowship Program


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

A 2-week Group Project. Teams tackle a research project together. Junior and Senior undergraduates paired with Freshmen and Sophomores will master a set of research skills and learn about research and facilities across the department.

A 9-week research rotation in a Faculty Laboratory. All students will work in different labs throughout the department for the remainder of the summer. Students will share their research with each other in a weekly student seminar series. Students will hear from faculty about their lab experiences in another seminar series.

Who should apply?

  • Freshmen and Sophomores NEW to research OR having spent less than 1 semester working in a lab in the Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Sophomores and Juniors already in Department of Biological Sciences labs with interest in mentoring students new to the department.

What are we looking for?

The Department of Biological Sciences is committed to building a community of students with diverse backgrounds and scientific interests. 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 late January or early 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 page 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 a lab has already been chosen, 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 summer courses and outside employment is highly discouraged. The following activities are required:

  1. Participation in the 2 week group project.
  2. Intensive "hands-on" scientific training in an established research laboratory during the following 9 weeks of the summer program. The majority of this work should occur during standard work hours to support the development of our mentored research community.
  3. Participation in a weekly undergraduate seminar series.
  4. Attendance at a weekly faculty seminar series.
  5. Presentation at a symposium at the end of the summer.
  6. Evaluation of the program and response to post-graduation surveys.

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.