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VI4 Germs, Defenses, & Diseases Undergraduate Research Program – Cancelled for Summer 2023


Germs, Defenses, & Diseases (GDD) is one of two flagship undergraduate research programs supported by the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, & Inflammation (VI4). GDD provides two research training opportunities:

  1. One opportunity is part-time that that runs through the school year. This is a great opportunity for sophomores, juniors and seniors attending Vanderbilt or a college/university in the Nashville area.
  2. The other opportunity is full-time and runs during the summer months. This opportunity is available to all rising sophomores, juniors and seniors.


The objectives of the GDD Undergraduate Research Program are three-fold:

  1. To provide substantive research experience to undergraduate students in areas of infection, immunology and inflammatory diseases, and pathophysiology
  2. To provide opportunities to learn critical thinking through review of the literature and presentations of research papers
  3. To prepare students for careers is biomedical science research and education

You can read about our 2018 participants here.

Additional Information:

Recruitment to the research opportunity during the school year is through faculty nominations. Nominations are solicited from the VI4 research faculty by the program coordinator in September/October of each year. Students are welcome to contact Sebastian Joyce, directly by email, regarding nominations and participation in the program. Names and contact information of VI4 research faculty can be found at In some cases, financial support may be available through a work study program. Most students use this opportunity to earn research credits as part of their undergraduate degree program. Financial support is not provided for research leading to course credits. To learn more about this research opportunity, contact Sebastian Joyce.

Application for the summer research program is below.


  • The summer research interns will receive a stipend of $5000 for the nine/ten-week period.
  • Housing will be provided at one of the Vanderbilt University campus dormitories.


  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors or rising sophomores, juniors and seniors
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Must have taken college biology, chemistry and/or biochemistry
  • Letter of recommendation from a biology or chemistry course director/instructor
  • US citizens, permanent residents and international students will be considered

Application Instructions

The application will include:

  • A brief personal statement which addresses your scientific interests, your qualifications for the program, and how you believe this program will help you achieve your professional goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation submitted online (if you have prior research experience, it will be helpful to have a letter from your research mentor).
  • Uploaded unofficial transcript

The application opens on October 1. The application deadline is February 1, 2023. Click here to start the application through the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy.