Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Summer Research Program
Financial Support


Award of financial support is separate from admission to the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) Student Summer Research Program. A student may apply and be admitted to the program with or without funding. Irrespective of the source, Thomas Jefferson University financial support is typically available only to students conducting summer research at Jefferson and affiliated sites (including the Wills Eye Institute, the Rothman Institute, Methodist Hospital, and Nemours/DuPont Hospital for Children).

Financial support is provided primarily through the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program and/or SKMC funds. FWS eligibility criteria include being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, along with specific financial need conditions. To be considered for FWS support, a student must submit an institutional SKMC application and a federal work study application to Jefferson's Office of Student Financial Aid. FWS eligibility will be evaluated using the federal FAFSA application; students should file this federal form at fafsa.ed.gov prior to contacting the Office of Student Financial Aid. In order to be considered only for institutional financial aid, a student must submit only the institutional SKMC financial aid application (the federal forms are not required).

For questions, determination of eligibility and/or to submit a FWS application, students should contact Brian Emery (215-955-5189) at the Office of Student Financial Aid. In addition, an informational session regarding financial aid for summer research is typically held in December. To receive full consideration, applications for financial aid should be completed within 2 weeks after notification of selection into the program.

Certain departments and programs may also have additional funding opportunities for students' summer research through scholarships or grant funds (e.g., Anesthesiology, Family & Community Medicine, see Programs). Students should discuss such opportunities with the departmental program director and/or potential advisor.

It is anticipated that about 60-70 program participants will receive financial support, through all available sources combined. However, the level of available funds is not guaranteed and varies from year to year. Tentative funding decisions are made in middle to late March.

There are also funding opportunities through external sponsors, including the American Medical Association Seed Grant Research Program and the Alpha Omega Alpha Student Research Fellowship. Application deadlines are typically in December.

Travel Funds

Student Organization Conference Fund

The SKMC Student Council supports a limited amount of transportation and/or registration expenses for a student to attend a conference that he/she might not otherwise be able to attend. Up to one request per year may be made by any official SKMC student organization.

Medical Student Research Travel Fellowships

A limited amount of funding is available through the Office of the Dean to support medical students who present their research at national or international scientific meetings. Up to $500 for travel reimbursement is available to a student who meets the following criteria:

  • The student must be first author on the submitted abstract and must present the research findings (either poster or oral presentation) at the meeting.
  • The research must have been completed while the student was at SKMC and the work must have been conducted on-campus (exceptions must be pre-approved).
  • The faculty advisor or departmental sponsor must provide matching funds and must sign the application.

An application is due at least 30 days before the trip (along with a copy of the abstract, notification of acceptance for presentation and any other supporting documents) to the Office of the Dean. For more information and to submit an application, please contact Annette Chesson, 215-955-1629.

Lavine Scholarship

The Helen and Gabriel Lavine Scholarship Fund was established at Thomas Jefferson University in 1981, and one of its directives is the funding of student research. Any Thomas Jefferson University student who has conducted summer work between the first and second year in medical college is eligible for a Lavine Scholarship ($1,000 tuition rebate, selection/notification in late October). Students are eligible whether they participated in a formal research program or not, and irrespective of the location where they conducted their summer work. However, note that the Lavine Scholarship is intended for students who worked on research rather than service projects. Eligibility requirements for the Lavine Scholarship are:

  • Successful completion of the summer research work.
  • Evaluation/attestation of the entire summer work by the student's advisor. This is a standardized form with space for brief comments on the student's summer research activities and accomplishments. Additionally, a brief attestation letter can be attached (optional).
  • Presentation of the summer work. For students in the Summer Research Program and in the College within the College Program, an oral or poster presentation that fulfills the requirements of those programs is acceptable. For other students, a pre-approved oral or poster presentation at the Thomas Jefferson University campus is typically required.
  • Written abstract of the summer work (max 250 words).
  • Successful completion of any other program requirements, if participating in a Thomas Jefferson University formal research program (Summer Research Program, College within the College Program, etc.).

A full written report of the summer work (max 1,500 words, excluding title, abstract and references, plus up to six tables and/or figures) is not required but is strongly recommended.

In the past, about 40-50 scholarships have been awarded annually, but the number depends on available funds and varies from year to year. Selection of students for the Lavine Scholarship awards will be based on the strength of their summer work, as reflected in:

  • The evaluation of the student's summer work by his/her advisor.
  • The evaluation of the presentation by the SKMC Student Summer Research Program Director and/or other designated evaluator(s).
  • The evaluation of the abstract (and of the written report, if available) by the SKMC Student Summer Research Program Director.
  • Participation in a Thomas Jefferson University formal research program (Summer Research Program, College within the College Program, etc.) or other summer research programs outside Thomas Jefferson University (UPenn, Vanderbilt, etc.).

There is no formal application. Submission of an advisor evaluation/attestation form constitutes such an application.

Students participating in the Summer Research Program should submit the written abstract and report online through the program's Blackboard site. The advisor should submit the evaluation/attestation form directly to the SKMC Student Summer Research Program Coordinator (paper copy via campus mail or electronic copy via e-mail).

All other students should submit a single packet (not separate items) to the SKMC Student Summer Research Program Coordinator (hard copy or electronically) with the following:

  • Cover letter indicating the project title, advisor name and affiliation, and date and location of the oral or poster presentation.
  • Written abstract.
  • Written report (optional).
  • Advisor evaluation/attestation form. (Alternatively, the advisor may submit the evaluation/attestation form separately, if he/she so prefers.)

All materials are typically due by the end of September. Submissions and/or material that do not conform to the above guidelines will jeopardize eligibility and may not be considered. For more information, please contact the SKMC Student Summer Research Program Coordinator, Annette Chesson, 215-955-1629.