Advancing Cornell Career Experiences for Science Students (ACCESS)
About the Access Summer Research Program
The ACCESS program of Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences (WCGS) is a summer internship program designed for undergraduates from underserved or underrepresented populations who are interested in pursuing graduate study toward a Ph.D.
Interns gain hands-on experience in a biomedical research laboratory and are encouraged to apply to PhD programs. Selected students are placed in laboratories at the Weill Cornell Medical College under the mentorship of experienced faculty members.
In addition to the laboratory experience, students attend lectures and discussions aimed at enhancing their understanding of the current status of biomedical research, the pathways available for entering research careers, and the range of available career opportunities. Students also participate in weekly journal clubs, attend workshops that teach them how to prepare for interviews and seminars, and take part in social activities.
The program lasts 10 weeks during the summer. At the end of 10 weeks, a celebratory award ceremony is held in which students give poster and oral presentations on their research.
Weill Medical College is located in the heart of New York City, one of the world's foremost capitals of science, culture, arts, and business. Situated in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, overlooking the East River, WCGS enjoys one of the loveliest residential neighborhoods in the city. Within walking distance are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, The Museum of Modern Art, The Frick Collection, The Asia Society, The Hispanic Society, and a plethora of art galleries.
Laboratory Experience - Selected students are placed in laboratories at the Weill Cornell Medical College under the supervision of an experienced faculty member. They will have the choice of performing research in one of these eight disciplines: Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biophysics, & Systems Biology, and Computational Biology and Medicine.
Journal Club - Students will learn to analyze and discuss scientific journal articles by participating in weekly journal clubs.
Seminar Series - Students attend lectures and discussions aimed at enhancing their understanding of the current status of biomedical research, the pathways available to enter a research career, the range of career opportunities available, and the requirements for admission to graduate school.
Presentations - At the end of the program students give an oral presentation and prepare a written a report.
Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time in an accredited public or private college or university in the United States or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. All applicants must:
- Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
- Demonstrate a committed interest to pursue graduate study toward a PhD or MD-PhD.
- Have completed at least two semesters and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program.
- Be a documented U.S. citizen or permanent resident in possession of an alien registration receipt card (I-551) or other legal document of such status at the time of application. International citizens studying in the United States with an F-1 Visa are not eligible. Individuals seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible.
The ACCESS program is not designed for students pursuing professional training for careers in clinical medicine.
Applications are encouraged from:
- Individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in research careers in the sciences, social sciences and humanities in the academic, public or private sectors, including students who identify as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.
- Individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. We understand that some disabilities affect vision, speech, hearing, attention, learning, or mobility, and other disabilities are not obvious.
- Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined by the Department of Health & Human Services as those who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These income levels are published at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm
- Undergraduates who bring diversity to academic study by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests.
Each student receives a generous stipend of $3,500 and up to $500 for travel expenses. On-campus housing is provided free of charge to those who are not from the New York City area.
Applicants must have individual medical insurance for the duration of the program.
“Working in a first-rate lab for two months has immensely shaped my understanding of the scientific research process. I have learned all about the research process, from grant funding to the process of publishing a paper.” –2014 ACCESS Participant
“The ACCESS Program gave me a taste of what graduate school would be like. To do a Ph.D. and to become a research scientist, requires a lot of time and dedication to working in the lab. You also must have the passion for your research to stay motivated each day.” –2014 ACCESS Participant
Students apply to the ACCESS summer research program via the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program.
Please visit the Leadership Alliance for instructions and application requirements:
When applying online, select “Weill Cornell Graduate School” for consideration in the ACCESS program.
Suzanne P. Baly
ACCESS Program Assistant
Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences
W. Marcus Lambert, Ph.D.
ACCESS Program Director