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Leadership Alliance

Summer Research-Early Identification Program: Talented undergraduates from around the nation are invited to apply for the Vanderbilt University Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) through The Leadership Alliance



We are committed to enhancing our diverse academic community through diversity and inclusion. Vanderbilt University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Immigration Reform and Control Act/ Americans with Disabilities Act Employer

Mission and Program Description

  • Vanderbilt University is a partner in the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). The Leadership Alliance is an academic consortium of 32 institutions of higher learning, including leading research and teaching college and universities. The mission of the Leadership Alliance is to develop underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business and the public sector.
  • This program offers undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD or MD-PhD the opportunity to work for eight to ten weeks under the guidance of a faculty or research mentor at participating Alliance institutions. The SR-EIP is principally designed to encourage students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities including students who identify as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans (including Alaska Natives) and US Pacific Islanders, to consider research careers in the academic, public, or private sectors.


  • Undergraduates work for nine weeks under the guidance of a faculty or research mentor at a participating Alliance institution.
  • Through this one-on-one collaboration students gain theoretical knowledge and practical training in academic research and scientific experimentation.
  • Students also receive assistance with navigating the graduate application process.
  • Students are required to present a written report and/or abstract at the end of their summer research activity and complete a program evaluation.
  • All participants are expected to participate in the Leadership Alliance’s annual national symposium and to make an oral or poster presentation of their research.
  • For their participation students will receive round-trip travel, free room and board, plus a stipend.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • 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 interest and potential to pursue graduate study toward a PhD or MD-PhD. (Note: The SR-EIP is NOT designed for students pursuing professional training for careers in the practice of law, business administration, clinical medicine, clinical psychology or the allied health professions.)
  • Be a documented US citizen or non-citizen national or permanent resident in possession of an alien registration receipt card (I-551) or other legal document of such status. International citizens studying in the United States with an F-1 visa are not eligible for the SR-EIP. Individuals seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible.
  • Attend full-time an accredited public or private college or university in the U.S. or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Vanderbilt undergraduate students are not eligible to apply to the Vanderbilt SR-EIP; however, they are encouraged to apply to Leadership Alliance SR-EIP programs at other schools.


  • Be available for 8-10 weeks of research and to present an oral or poster presentation at the national conference.

Time Commitment

  • This opportunity has a duration of one summer.

Application Process

  • Application for the Program is only through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) online application. Application submission and other details can be found on the following website: Complete the application online:

Deadline for submission of application: February 1. 

Room, Board, and Stipends

  • Students in the Program will live in Vanderbilt-affiliated housing. The program will provide all research and course-related expenses, room and board, travel to and from the program and a stipend of $3,375. Students are required to participate for the full period of the Program.

Contact Information

Inquiries about the SR-EIP program are welcome, and may be directed to:

VSSA Program Director, Vanderbilt University

Don Brunson, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Bowman, Ph.D.