University of Wisconsin–Madison

Surgery Summer Research Experience For Medical Students

The Department of Surgery offers short-term summer research experiences for medical students interested in research related to diabetes, obesity, endocrine disorders, nutritional disorders, digestive diseases, liver disease, kidney disease, and urologic disease. Funded by a T35 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the program offers eight students a mentored 10-12 week research and training experience with the goal of encouraging medical students to pursue academic medical careers. The program includes completion of a mentored research project, along with a curriculum designed to teach medical students the essentials of effective research and academic research principles. At the completion of their experience, students write an abstract and present a poster or oral presentation.


Pre-doctoral trainee stipends are fixed by the National Institutes of Health.


Applicants must be medical students at an AAMC or LCME accredited school of medicine who have completed at least one year of medical school. Because this is a 10-12 week experience, the training experience is traditionally completed during the summer following the first year of medical school. Applications are accepted from students attending institutions other than UW-Madison who intend to spend their summer in Madison in the laboratory of their trainer. Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Individuals from underrepresented ethnic or racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Criteria for Acceptance

The following criteria is used to select trainees into this program:

  • Past research experience
  • Relevance of research interests to the mission of NIDDK and the program
  • Quality of research interest statement or research project summary
  • Contributions to enhancement of program diversity
Application Process
  • Students from outside UW-Madison should e-mail as one combined .pdf document a resume, area of research interest and one letter of recommendation to the Program Administrator no later than January 1 prior to the intended research summer. External students selected for the program will be notified by March 31. Upon acceptance we will work with you to match you with a mentor and identify a project for the summer.
  • Students from UW-Madison should submit an application through the internal Shapiro Program mechanism. Students with mentors participating in our program will be considered for funding through this program automatically.

This program includes a broad range of trainers with research interest in areas of interest to NIDDK and is focused on Department of Surgery faculty, as well as researchers collaborating with Department of Surgery faculty. Trainers have a solid history of extramural funding, and experience in training students. Our program currently consists of over 20 trainers.

Contact Us

For questions about this program, please do not hesitate to contact the Program Administrator Sarah Pavao at or (608) 262-0744.