Summer Undergraduate Research Program

For many years the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh (CNUP) has sponsored a vibrant and diverse 10-week summer program in which selected undergraduate students from throughout the U.S. conduct research investigating nervous system function under the guidance of individual CNUP training faculty.

We will offer a 2021 CNUP Summer Undergraduate Research Program. However, regrettably, due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, FOR 2021 ONLY, the program will accept only University of Pittsburgh students. We will offer the usual summer stipend of $4,000, but this year only we will not be able to offer housing. Thus, we request that only University of Pittsburgh students who can arrange for their own summer housing apply. We will look forward in 2022 to again offering our summer program to undergraduates from any U.S. college or university.

Program Goals:

  1. To give qualified students the opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of intensive, hypothesis-driven laboratory research in neuroscience.
  2. To teach the technical features of a research project. These may include neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, molecular biology, brain imaging, computer simulations, neuropsychology or behavioral assessments.

    Note: Students who envision their future in clinical medicine typically will not be competitive for this fellowship, unless that vision also includes an important potential role for laboratory-based neuroscience research.


  1. Applicants must have completed their sophomore or junior year of undergraduate training before the start of the program.
  2. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 ("B") or higher; strong performance in science, math, and related coursework is especially important.
  3. Applicants must be undergraduate students currently enrolled full-time at a U.S. college or university.
  4. International applicants will be required to provide official authorization for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from their home institution, prior to their arrival in Pittsburgh.


  1. A $4,000 stipend will be paid as follows: $500 will be paid on June 4. The remaining $3,500 will be paid in two equal payments of $1750 on June 30 and July 30, 2021.
  2. Fellows will be responsible for their own meals and other expenses.

To Apply:

  1. Download the application form.
  2. View research interests of CNUP Training Faculty participating in the 2021 Summer Program.
  3. Choose the top 3 faculty members with whom you would like to work, plus 2 others if appropriate. Whenever possible, student/mentor pairings are determined from this list.
  4. Please send the application form, college transcripts, personal statement, and letters of recommendation to by January 29.

Program Policies:

  1. The 2021 program will begin with orientation on June 1 and end with final presentations on August 6. All fellows must be available to begin and end their participation on these dates.
  2. Fellows are expected to work in the laboratory full-time throughout the 10-week program. Vacation days will not be permitted unless pre-approved by the faculty mentor. Other awards and funding must be relinquished.

Pertinent Dates and Deadlines:

  1. 2021 program dates: Tuesday, June 1 through Friday, August 6
  2. Application receipt deadline: Friday, January 29, 2021
  3. Applicants will be notified by email between March 1-16, 2021 whether they are accepted, placed on a waitlist, or declined. Students who are accepted will be requested to accept or decline the CNUP Summer Program offer within 4 days.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Get your questions answered with some frequently asked questions that our students usually have!



Jon W. Johnson, PhD

Center for Neuroscience and
Department of Neuroscience

Anthony E. Kline, PhD

Center for Neuroscience and
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation