ACCESS Summer Internship Program

Advancing Cornell Career Experiences for Science Students (ACCESS)

The ACCESS Summer Internship Program at Weill Cornell Graduate School will run from June 1, 2020 to August 7, 2020. It is designed for undergraduate students to enhance their understanding of modern biology and medical research.

Poster Presentation

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 Medical College 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.


The program lasts 10 weeks during the summer and begins June 1, 2020. At the end of 10 weeks (August 7), a celebratory award ceremony is held in which students give poster and oral presentations on their research.


Weill Medical College is located in the heart of New York City, one of the world's foremost capitals of science, campusculture, 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.

Program Highlights

Classroom Photo

Laboratory Experience - Selected students are placed in laboratories at the Weill Cornell Medical College 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.

Presentations - At the end of the program students give an oral presentation and prepare a written a report.

Group Photo

Application Requirements

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. All applicants must:

  • Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Demonstrate a committed interest to pursue graduate study toward a PhD.
  • Have completed at least two semesters and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program.
  • 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.

The ACCESS program is not designed for students pursuing professional training for careers in clinical medicine.

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 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, defined by the Department of Health & Human Services as those who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These income levels are published at
  • Undergraduates who bring diversity to academic study by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests.

Financial Information

Each student receives a generous stipend of $4,000 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.

Other Information

Applicants must have individual medical insurance for the duration of the program.

Application Procedures

Please complete all sections of the application

Personal Statement
In the Documents tab of this section please upload a personal statement. 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 3 pages.

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

Letters of Recommendation
In the Evaluations section of the application, please enter contact information for 2 recommenders. It is recommended, though not required to have letters from:
     1. A letter of recommendation from 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.

Proof of Citizenship
In the Applicant Documents section, in the "Other Relevant Documents" section, please upload one of the following as proof of US Citizenship or permanent resident visa status:
U.S. Citizenship: A copy of your birth certificate or US Passport
Permanent Resident Visa: A copy of your Permanent Resident Visa card



Apply here:

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

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

Contact Us

Chantel Gooding
Diversity Coordinator
Phone: 212-746-1064

Dr. Marcus Lambert
Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life
Phone: 212-746-1064

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. Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life
Weill Cornell Medicine
Deadline:  TBD


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

Deadline: TBD  


“Working in a first-rate lab for two months has immensely shaped my understanding of the scientific research process. I have learned all about the research process, from grant funding to the process of publishing a paper.” –2014 ACCESS Participant

“The ACCESS Program gave me a taste of what graduate school would be like. To do a Ph.D. and to become a research scientist, requires a lot of time and dedication to working in the lab. You also must have the passion for your research to stay motivated each day.” –2014 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) 746-5981