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Aspirnaut Summer Research for Undergraduates

The program is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health and targeted to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and those from geographically- and economically-disadvantaged backgrounds as defined by the federal government.

There are two principle aims for this program:

  1. An intense research experience for undergraduate students involving crafting of questions, designing and conducting experiments, and presenting and arguing results on the topic of “Pathobiology of Diabetic Nephropathy.”
  2. To teach undergraduate interns how to be mentors and inspirational role models for elementary and middle school students at rural schools.

Participants reside on the campus of Vanderbilt University and conduct research activities at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Research assignments are coordinated under the direction of Billy Hudson, Ph.D., Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Matrix Biology. Interns are assigned to a mentor and research lab related to diabetes. Interns are fully engaged in their research project and meet regularly to discuss their projects with scientific mentors and to interact with guest speakers. At the end of the program, interns prepare written reports and give oral and poster presentations to their peers and mentors. Activities and assignments will vary within a standard nine-to-five timeframe in laboratory atmospheres, with evenings and weekends available for the participants to complete homework assignments. There is plenty of free time to explore the university, the city of Nashville, and its surrounding areas.


The summer research interns will receive a salary of $500 per week for the ten-week period. This salary is intended to cover all intern costs associated with participation in the program including travel to and from Nashville. Housing is available in Vanderbilt University campus dormitories at a rate of $28.00 per day. Nearly all interns live on campus.

Eligibility & Application

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Applicants should have already completed biology, chemistry or biochemistry.

Applicants who have successfully completed high school and who are matriculating into a 4-year college/university in the fall are also eligible if they have taken an advanced course in biology, chemistry, or physics in high school.

Application Deadline February 1, 2014

To fill out the application online please go to the following webpage: https://redcap.vanderbilt.edu/surveys/?s=5soDvRVxqP

For general AspirnautTM Summer Research Internship questions please contact us here.


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