Our goal is for all interns to leave the program with greater scientific knowledge, research experience, friendships, professional connections, and confidence in their career trajectory. 


The application portal is open November 1, 2023 through February 1, 2024.   


This 10-week program includes:

  • a course on cancer taught by leaders in cancer research
  • a research project guided by a near-peer mentor (such as a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow) and a faculty mentor
  • career development programming
  • creating a scientific poster and oral presentation on your research, and giving presentations
  • a clinician shadowing opportunity, pending availability
  • opportunities for social events

Please contact program staff with any questions at HCCC-Summer@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

Cancer Research Opportunities at Iowa is funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute

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Frequently Asked Questions

2023 Group photo
Summer student working in a lab
Summer students in lab
Rock climbing wall
Cambus stop
Pentacrest lawn
Engineering device

Am I eligible?

Students must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents in a college or community college program in biomedical sciences.  Those in a 4-year degree program should have completed their sophomore or junior year prior to the summer.  Students in a 2-year degree program are preferred to be entering their final year of their associate degree or in the summer prior to transferring to a 4-year college.  Preference is given to students who are part of populations historically underrepresented in science (NIH definition). 


When is the program?

Students will arrive in Iowa City and move into the dorm on Saturday May 18, 2024.  Students depart on Friday July 26, 2024.   


Do I need to attend the entire program?

Yes, you need to attend the entire 10 week program.  


What will we do?

The program consists of a course on cancer, intense research experience, mentoring, and professional development opportunities, including creating and presenting a scientific poster and oral presentation.  The program is full-time, which includes all of the required and recommended activities and research time.  Students will have a near-peer from their lab who will give them direct support in the laboratory.  Most workdays will be spent conducting research. 


What kind of research is available?

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty are in many different research disciplines in the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy.  Cancer research takes many forms in different kinds of laboratories and research settings.

  • Basic sciences, also known as wet lab research, such as analyzing chemicals or biological samples, animal research, microscopy, and genetics
  • Public health research, including community and behavioral health and epidemiology
  • Nursing research, such as health outcomes of patients treated for cancer
  • Bioengineering, working on the creation of medical devices.


Who will be my mentor?

The application will ask you about your research interests and the three mentors who interest you most.  The program directors will use this information to assign students to the best laboratory fit.  We will match you with the mentor who best suits your research interests, but mentor choices are not guaranteed. You can read about the program's mentors on the People page.     You will be informed and be able to communicate with your mentor before the program starts. 


How do I get there? Will I need to pay?

Student's traveling by plane will have their flights arranged by and paid for by the program.  Students traveling via personal car will be reimbursed for their mileage.  Additional travel costs may also be reimbursed according to University regulations.  Students who will have their personal car on campus will receive free parking at the Hancher parking lot. 


How much do I get paid?

Summer program students are provided with a stipend of $6000 for the 10 week program.  This includes the stipend and money for food.  Students may choose to use any amount of their stipend for food. 


Where will I live?

Students will be housed in the Petersen Residence Hall, which is located on the West side of Campus near the biomedical laboratories.  Students will live in a double room with a same-sex roommate.  Petersen Hall has one kitchen which students can use and the program will provide basic non-food supplies. 


Is there a place to work out?

Students receive a free summer pass to the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.  This 20,000 ft2 fitness space includes a climbing wall, two swimming pools, a jogging track, basketball courts, and over 200 pieces of training equipment and free weights.  It is located 5 blocks from Petersen Hall. 


Is there a way to get around town?

The Iowa City area has three bus systems, the Cambus (University), the Iowa City buses, and the Coralville buses.  Coralville is a smaller city which adjoins Iowa City.   "Transit" is a free mobile app that tracks all three bus systems and has trip planning. 

Petersen Hall is located next to the medical science part of the University of Iowa campus.  It is also just a 15 minute walk to downtown Iowa City.


What is the weather like?

Average daily low and high temperatures range from the 60s to 90s.  Rain or thunderstorms can occur and the air tends to be humid. 


Do I need my own health insurance?

Yes, you are required to have your own health insurance.