VISRA Undergraduate Internship Program, Vanderbilt University, USA

Publish Date: Oct 22, 2015

Deadline: Jan 15, 2016

VISRA Undergraduate Internship Program, Vanderbilt University

June - July Session

Thank you for the interest in the Vanderbilt International Summer Research Academy (VISRA)!

Participants in the Vanderbilt International Summer Research Academy conduct a biomedical research project under the supervision of a Vanderbilt faculty scientist.

The June to July section of VISRA is open to any currently enrolled international undergraduate student. The 2016 summer session will run from June 6 until July 29, 2016.

The application period for 2016 June-July VISRA will run from October 1, 2015 until January 15, 2016. No applications submitted after January 15 will be considered.


  • Students will be able to interact socially and academically with other students, both international and domestic, who are participating in similar programs.

  • Students will get to know current Vanderbilt biomedical PhD students and faculty, as well as present their research at the end of VISRA.
  • Students will attend weekly mentoring sessions with Vanderbilt faculty.
  • Students will have the opportunity to attend Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparatory seminars designed to improve achievement on the GRE (the standardized test that most US universities require applicants to take), as well as be given the opportunity to take the GRE during the program.

  • When you apply, you will be able to list up to 6 Vanderbilt Faculty that you are interested in working with for your research project.  You can find a complete list of all Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty here.  While we will make every effort to accommodate applicant preferences, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to work with the faculty you select on your application.

What Costs Does the Program Cover?

Vanderbilt University will pay for Summer Research Academy participants. This includes:

  • Round-trip airplane ticket.
  • Transportation to and from the Nashville airport.
  • Housing
  • A stipend of $3,000.00 to help you pay other expenses (meals, local transportation, etc.) during VISRA.
  • Health insurance as required to meet US immigration regulations.

Do I Qualify?

  • Applicants cannot be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Applicants should have a strong desire to pursue an advanced (PhD) degree in the biological or biomedical sciences and should be highly motivated to learn.
  • Applicants should have completed at least 2 years of university studies, achieving high grades. We anticipate that most VISRA students will currently be enrolled in a University outside of the United States and will have recently completed their second or third year of studies.  Most of our applicants will come from the sciences or medicine. While all international students are welcome to apply, preference will be given to students who are currently outside of the United States
  • Applicants should have excellent English language skills. While your English may improve at the Academy, this is not an opportunity to study English.

How to apply

  • To apply, please initiate the electronic application below.  When you create an account in the online application, you will be given a USERID and PASSWORD that will allow you to access your application as often as you need.  Summer applications are a part of the 2016 - 2017 Academic Year.  From the Summer Program options, you will select "Vanderbilt International Summer Research Academy" from the drop-down Program menu.  The term should be Summer 2015.  You will be able to edit and save your application until you are ready to submit the final version.  Once you submit the final version of your application, you will no longer be able to make any changes to your application, but you will still be able to upload supplemental documents to your application.  When opening your application, you may see a "deadline expired" message.  Please ignore this message.
  • We do not require that you submit official transcripts with your application.  You will enter your academic information in the VISRA application, including the average of your overall grades and major grades using the scale that they are assigned at your home university. After you submit your application, you will be able to upload unofficial transcripts.  We will contact you directly if we have questions about your academic background or need additional information.
  • The application will ask for references/recommenders.  We require two (2) recommenders to provide letters supporting your application for the program.  Once you enter each recommender's information and e-mail address and add them to your application, the recommender will receive an e-mail with instructions for how they can submit their recommendation online.  This e-mail will give them a link to an online form.  From this form, the recommender will be able to upload a more detailed letter of recommendation.  We strongly encourage all recommenders to use the online form.  Your application cannot be considered complete until it's fully submitted and we have received 2 recommendations on your behalf.
  • We will ask you to list six (6) Vanderbilt faculty scientists that you would be interested in working with during VISRA.  You can find a complete list of all Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty here. We will make every effort to accommodate your choices, but we cannot guarantee that you will be able to work with the scientists you list on the application.  Your application will not be considered complete without the list of faculty scientists.
  • In your statement of purpose, please include one paragraph that explains what you would be interested in researching during your time at Vanderbilt.  We expect that this explanation of your interests would correlate with the faculty scientists that you list on your application.
  • Applications for 2016 June-July VISRA open on October 1, 2016. The final day to submit applications and materials is January 15, 2016.
  • For questions regarding the application process, contact (615) 343-1518 orl

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