The George Washington Summer Program Advancing Research on Cancer (GW-SPARC) engages diverse undergraduates in a mentored summer research experience at the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center.  This program is intended for undergraduates considering Ph.D. training and a career in research.

Students will be matched with outstanding researchers at the Cancer Center in:

  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cancer Engineering and Technology
  • Microbial Oncology

This summer program fosters active engagement in cutting-edge research, exposure to contemporary cancer research techniques, understanding of health disparities and impact of cancer in different communities, and preparation for research careers. There will be no opportunities for clinical shadowing. Participants attend weekly workshops and seminars focused on cancer research and research skills (see sample program schedule). At the end of the summer, all students participate in a poster session with other undergraduate researchers.



Eligible applicants include:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. See descriptions in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity.
  • Undergraduates with strong research interest; preference will be given to sophomores and juniors. Graduating Seniors are not eligible for this program.

Period of Study

The program is ten weeks, typically late May through early August. 


The program will provide $4,000 for 10 weeks participation, paid in two installments upon arrival. Additional funds up to $500 will be provided for travel to/from GW. Students are encouraged to stay in GW housing which will be provided by the program at no cost to the student.


The application package includes:

  • Application, including statement of interest
  • Contact information for two faculty recommenders
  • Unofficial transcripts

Once you submit the application, your recommenders will be contacted automatically with a request for their electronic recommendation.


Applications accepted on a rolling basis from now until February 1. The program will be filled by mid-April.


Class Year

  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior


  • STEM
  • Multiple


  • English


  • Summer

Program Type

  • Research


  • DC

GWU Sponsored?


GWU Endorsement Required?