Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

ACCESS Summer Internship Program

Advancing Cornell Career Experiences for Science Students (ACCESS)

The ACCESS Summer Internship Program at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences will run an in-person program from June 3rd to August 2nd, 2024. While we are excited to welcome students to campus over the summer, the safety and security of the WCGS community is our highest priority and we may need to adjust to a virtual format due to COVID-19 pandemic and adherence to state and federal guidelines. Any changes to the program’s format will be communicated to our applicants via email.

The program is designed for undergraduate students to enhance their understanding of modern biology and medical research. Interns gain hands-on experience in a biomedical research laboratory and are encouraged to apply to PhD programs. Selected students are placed in laboratories at the Weill Cornell Medicine or the Sloan Kettering Institute under the mentorship of experienced faculty members.

In addition to the laboratory experience students attend lectures and discussions aimed at enhancing their understanding of the current status of biomedical research, the pathways available for entering research careers, and the range of available career opportunities. Students also participate in weekly journal clubs, attend workshops that teach them how to prepare for interviews and seminars, and take part in social activities.



ACCESS Summer Cohort 2023, WCGS Summer Graduate Assistants, and Office of Student Diversity team at LANS 2023

Program Details

Program Details 

Duration - The program will be 9 weeks during the summer and is scheduled to begin on June 3rd to August 2nd, 2024. At the end of the program, a celebratory award ceremony is held in which students give poster and oral presentations on their research.

Location -  Weill Cornell Medicine is located in the heart of New York City, one of the world's foremost capitals of science, campus culture, arts, and business. Situated in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, overlooking the East River, WCGS enjoys one of the loveliest residential neighborhoods in the city. Within walking distance are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, The Museum of Modern Art, The Frick Collection, The Asia Society, The Hispanic Society, and a plethora of art galleries. 

Housing and StipendEach student participating in the regularly planned on-campus program receives a generous stipend of $6,000 and up to $500 for travel expenses. On-campus housing is provided free of charge to those who are not from the New York City area. If the program is run virtually, the stipend and duration of the program may be reduced.

Access 22_community building

ACCESS 2022 Community Building Activity in the Upper East Side in New York City


Laboratory Experience - Selected students are placed in laboratories at Weill Cornell Medicine or the Sloan Kettering Institute under the supervision of an experienced faculty member. They will have the choice of performing research in one of these eight disciplines: Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biophysics, & Systems Biology, and Computational Biology and Medicine.

Journal Club - Students will learn to analyze and discuss scientific journal articles by participating in weekly journal clubs.

Seminar Series - Students attend lectures and discussions aimed at enhancing their understanding of the current status of biomedical research, the pathways available to enter a research career, the range of career opportunities available, and the requirements for admission to graduate school.


ACCESS 2023 Research Seminar Series

Presentations - At the end of the program students give an oral presentation during the Leadership Alliance National Symposium and present a poster during our end of summer Closing Ceremony. 

The Leadership Alliance - Weill Cornell School of Medicine is part of The Leadership Alliance, a consortium of universities from around the U.S. that is invested in fostering the intellectual and professional growth of students at different levels of their career. ACCESS students present their summer research to the Leadership Alliance community at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium that occurs in late July. 

Professional Development -  Students attend these sessions geared towards applying to a PhD, attending a conference, next steps after graduation, networking tips, stereotype threat, just to name a few.

Community building activities - ACCESS students have the opportunity to experience New York city by attending different community building activities organized by the program's graduate assistants.


ACCESS students at LANS2023


Applications are encouraged from:

  • Individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in research careers in the sciences, social sciences and humanities in the academic, public or private sectors, including students who identify as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Individuals with disabilities, defined as defined by the NIH which include those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. We understand that some disabilities affect vision, speech, hearing, attention, learning, or mobility, and other disabilities are not obvious.
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, as defined by the NIH and meet two or more of the criteria defined in NOT-OD-20-031.  
  • Undergraduates who bring diversity to academic study by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests.

Applicant Eligibility: 

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time in an accredited public or private college or university in the United States or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • Have completed at least two semesters and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program.
  • Demonstrate a committed interest to pursue graduate study toward a PhD. The ACCESS program is not designed for students pursuing professional training for careers in clinical medicine.
  • Be a documented U.S. citizen or permanent resident in possession of an alien registration receipt card (I-551) or other legal document of such status at the time of application. International citizens studying in the United States with an F-1 Visa are not eligible.
  • Applicants must have individual medical insurance for the duration of the program.


How to Apply

Please complete all sections of the application: 

  • Statement of Purpose - In this section, please indicate why you would like to participate in this summer research program, discuss your previous research experiences and also indicate your short- and long-term career goals. Please keep your essay to 1000 words. See SREIP instructions for detailed information 

  • Transcript/Academic Record - Upload an unofficial transcript(s) to the Leadership Alliance SREIP portal. Transcripts for every college or university you have attended must be submitted.

  • Letters of Recommendation - Please enter contact information for 2 recommendersto be sent via the SREIP portal. It is recommended, though not required, to have letters of recommendation from:  1) A research faculty member from a lab you have worked in or who is familiar with your research potential. 2) A letter of recommendation from a science faculty instructor or program director (such as: MARC, RISE, McNair, etc.) commenting on your motivation and potential for scientific research

  • Education and Experience - In this section, please utilize the most up to date version of your resume in this section to highlight your most significant experiences with a few descriptive paragraphs. You will have the opportinity to provide upto 5 research experiences and 5 relevant experiences (work/extracurricular activities).  See SREIP instructions for more details.

To apply: 

Students can apply to the ACCESS summer research program via The Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program.

When applying online, select “Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences- ACCESS” for consideration in the ACCESS program.

For SREIP instructions please click HERE. 

Contact Us

Contact Us 

Angely Arriaza 
Diversity Coordinator 


Other Summer Research Opportunities at Weill Cornell

Other Summer Research Opportunities at Weill Cornell

The ACCESS program is not designed for students pursuing professional training for careers in clinical medicine. The Travelers and Gateways Programs provide summer research opportunities for students interested in a medical degree or MD/PhD dual degree. 

The Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program for Premedical Students
Contact: Dr. Joy Howell, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life
Weill Cornell Medicine
Deadline:  February 1, 2023


Gateways to the Laboratory Program
Contact:  Dr. Catharine Boothroyd, Program Director
Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

Deadline: February 1, 2023  


“Through this program, I was not only able to acquire an extensive amount of knowledge in regard to my research field of interest, but I was able to develop my professional and research skills as a future PhD student. The journal clubs, Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS), seminars, mock interviews and all the other activities and resources were extremely useful throughout the whole summer."
-2019 ACCESS Participant

"This program was an absolute dream come true. My understanding of science and the scientific community increased dramatically. This was an invaluable experience that pushed me further than I ever thought possible. I am forever grateful to ACCESS, Weill Cornell, and the amazing program directors such as Dr. Lambert."
-2019 ACCESS Participant

"I found it inspiring how much WCM & MSK faculty & staff were willing to invest in and engage with undergraduate summer students. The abundance of opportunities to interact with professors and admins was one of the most meaningful things (Journal club, No dumb Q’s, One-one meetings, LANS etc.)"
-2019 ACCESS Participant

Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-8906