male student presenting research to fellow students


The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Megan Mekinda, PhD

No. We welcome students and teachers from any school or district.

No. As long as you can provide your own housing and transportation, you are welcome to apply.

No, but let us know you’re looking for a summer research experience. We are always eager to help alumni find new training opportunities!

For high school and college students, we prioritize applicants with a strong academic record (particularly in math and science) and the interpersonal skills required for a professional work environment. Those admitted to the program demonstrate a passion for science and careful consideration of how the program will help them achieve their education and career goals.

For secondary science teachers, we prioritize applicants who demonstrate strong potential to enrich science learners from underrepresented backgrounds. Those admitted to the program demonstrate a passion for inquiry-driven, project-based instruction and careful consideration of how the program will help them achieve their goals as educators and advocates for the newest generation of biomedical professionals.

Tip for all applicants: Spend time on your application essays. We weigh them heavily.

No. However, please make sure that your name and the name of your school are clearly visible on the document. It should include courses and grades from the beginning of your freshman year.

Submit your most recent transcript with the application. You can send updated grades to Dr. Mekinda ( when they become available, and she will add them to your file.

Yes. Given the similarities between programs, we expect both to be a great fit for many students.

No. Please complete the application for either Chicago EYES on Cancer or researcHStart, and when prompted, mark that you would also like to be considered for the other program. Your application and recommendation forms will be automatically copied and reviewed by the leadership teams of both programs. Note that we will consider the program through which you submit your application to be your first choice.

You will receive an email in early February if you have been selected for an interview. All applicants will be notified via email by March 1st of our final admissions decision.

Yes. You can request alternative arrangements after you’ve received the interview invitation.

High school and college students: Consider individuals who can speak compellingly about your academic performance, personal qualities, and interest in biomedicine. At least one recommender MUST be a teacher/professor. Other possibilities include a school counselor, coach, employer, or community leader. Please do NOT ask a close relative (e.g., parent, sibling, aunt).

Secondary science educators: You must request a letter from your principal or department chair. This individual should be prepared to discuss not only your qualities as an educator, but also what your participation in the program means for the greater school community.