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The Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine (HSRPKM) offers a robust and varied introduction to the world of kidney medicine (nephrology) for undergraduate college students considering a career in science or medicine and particularly suited for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD or MD PhD. The program is an intensive research experience and students are encouraged to become immersed in their project by reading about the focus of the laboratory and participating in meetings and events hosted by the laboratory.  Students will be assigned to a  laboratory that does research in kidney medicine in one of four research institutions connected to Harvard Medical School: Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston’s Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The program also includes a core curriculum that addresses the basic science and clinical fundamentals of kidney physiology and pathophysiology as well as challenges in the field. In addition, the program features several opportunities put these lessons into action. Students will shadow a nephrologist in clinic and will visit a dialysis unit. Finally, students will learn how to participate in a screening for kidney disease in the community.

We are committed to building the talented and diverse kidney research community of tomorrow. As part of that commitment, we encourage students who are part of the underrepresented groups in medicine (URM)* to apply.

Program Specifics:

  • Eight-week program (roughly June 1 through August 6 th)
  • Paid housing (COVID-19 restrictions may apply) and $1,000 stipend
  • Work with world class investigators at Harvard Medical School
  • Experience how kidney disease affects lives through a unique clinical experience
  • Attend weekly core curriculum session which will introduce the functions and dysfunctions of the kidney
  • All-expense paid trip to a national symposium to present your research

The Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (  The program is led by Dr. Joseph Bonventre, Chief of Division of Nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The Co-directors are Dr. Melanie Hoenig and Dr. Li-Li Hsiao. Dr. Hoenig is the course director for renal pathophysiology at Harvard Medical School and a nephrologist at BIDMC. Dr. Li-Li Hsiao is a nephrologist at BWH and the founder of a national program for undergraduate students to serve the community by screening for chronic kidney diseases, Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, KDSAP: http://www.kdsap.org.

*Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.” This includes students who identify as African Americans and/or Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Pacific Islander, and mainland Puerto Rican. The definition also refers to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We are accepting a limited number of applications this year due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants for 2021 should be in their 3rd year of undergraduate study and must have research experience in a laboratory. We are hopeful that our regular application process will commence for the summer 2022 application process.

The 2021 program is scheduled to run from Tuesday, June 1 through Friday Aug. 6, 2021. In the event that we are unable to meet in person due to continuing COVID pandemic limitations, an alternative virtual experience will be offered. Your application and all supporting documentation must be received by January 30th, 2021.

Please visit the program page to apply.

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