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We will be accepting applications for the 2021 summer VSSA program starting October 1st. While we are hopeful and planning for an in person program, due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot guarantee that we will be funding positions. We encourage you to apply. If you are selected for a position, we will contact you in a timely manner with the specifics of the program. In the meantime, please feel free to view our Virtual VSSA 2020 program, freely available to all, to learn about the diverse post-baccalaureate paths for scientists (PhD, MD/PhD, and MD) and how to best prepare.

The VSSA application will close on February 1st, 2021.

Most funding programs within the VSSA will run from June 7th, 2021 to August 6th, 2021.

The VSSA was created to recruit undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in basic science or clinical research.  To be eligible, students must be enrolled and in good standing earning a Bachelors of Science degree from an US college/university. Most of the programs participating with the VSSA can apply through this centralized system; exceptions are below.

To initiate your application, please click on the electronic application below.  When you create an account in the online application, you will be given a USERID and PASSWORD that will allow you to access your application as often as you need.  Once you create your application, you will select which programs you are interested in being considered for.  You may list up to three.  If you wish to apply to the Undergraduate Clinical Internship Program, that is considered it’s own application so you will need to initiate a new application to the VSSA to be considered for any of those programs.  You will be able to edit and save your application until you are ready to submit the final version.  Once you submit the final version of your application, you will no longer be able to make any changes to your application, but you will still be able to upload supplemental documents to your application.

The application will ask for references/recommenders.  We require two (2) recommenders to provide letters supporting your application for the program and these are due by the application deadline, February 1st. It is your responsibility to ensure these letters are received on time.  Once you enter each recommender’s information and e-mail address and add them to your application, the recommender will receive an e-mail with instructions for how they can submit their recommendation online.  This e-mail will give them a link to an online form.  From this form, the recommender will be able to upload a more detailed letter of recommendation.  We will ONLY be able to accept recommendation letters through the online system.  Your application cannot be considered complete until it’s fully submitted and we have received 2 recommendations on your behalf.

In your statement of purpose, please be sure to include why you are most interested in participating in the program.

Programs you can apply for through this application:

  • Vanderbilt Summer Diabetes Research Program
  • MCB: The Molecular and Cellular Biology Summer Program (IGP)
  • The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) – Summer Research Program
  • Vascular Biology-Short Term Training Program for Minority Students
  • V-SURE: Vanderbilt-Sewanee Undergraduate Research Experience (for Sewanee undergraduates only)
  • Vanderbilt Undergraduate Clinical Research Internship Program
  • VVC: Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
  • VI4: Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation
  • AHA SURE: American Heart Association Supporting Undergraduate Research Experiences
  • PACER: Promoting Academic Excellence through Community Engagement and Reach Multicultural Scholars Program

Programs with their own application (and links to application webpage):

The 2021 VSSA application will close February 1st, 2021.

For questions regarding the application process, contact

Our normal business hours are M-F 8:00-4:00. If the application deadline falls on a weekend, it is likely that any queries on this day will not be addressed until the following week. Please plan and complete your application appropriately. Thank you!


Create/Edit your Application


Thank you for your interest in the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy Program (VSSA)!