Center for Biomedical Research

Hannah Hall of Science, Room 166
244 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4451
(location map)
(248) 370-4871
Fax (248) 370-3408

Brad Roth, Director

Student Research Opportunities

American Heart Association
Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Oakland University, in cooperation with the American Heart Association, offers a stipend to support summer research experiences in cardiovascular sciences research for undergraduates mentored by a University faculty member. This program is designed to expose students to cutting-edge basic and transnational cardiovascular research.

Statement of Purpose
To encourage students from all disciplines to consider research careers. This is an institutional award, made to qualified research institutions that can offer a meaningful research experience that supports the mission of the American Heart Association to undergraduate college students.​
Target Audience and Citizenship

Target Audience and Citizenship

  • Program Director, Westrick Randal is the applicant of the award. At the time of application he/she must be

  • Possess a demonstrated track record of providing mentoring to student researchers;

  • Provide a detailed description of institutional support that is available to sponsors and students;

  • list potential sponsors, along with brief details about their background and nature of work;

  • outline how potential student awardees will be identified and recruited;

  • provide the procedure that sponsor/student teams will follow to compete for AHA funds granted to the institution;

  • Have one of the following designations at time of application:

  • United States citizen;

  • Be a full-time faculty member at the level of assistant professor (or equivalent) or above;

  • Permanent resident;

  • Pending permanent resident (any resident who has an approved I-765 form and has submitted an I-465 application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

  • E-3 - specialty occupation worker;

  • H-1B Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation. Note: You must have an H-1B or equivalent by the award activation date. If the H-1B or equivalent is not received by the award activation date, the award must be relinquished;

  • J-1 Visa - exchange visitor. Note: You must have an H-1B or equivalent by the award activation date. If the H-1B or equivalent is not received by the award activation date, the award must be relinquished;

  • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences;

  • TN Visa – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional;

  • G-4 Visa - family member of employee of international organizations.

  • Program Director must maintain one of the designations listed above throughout duration of the award. 

Program Details
Science Focus
Research involves study of diverse collection of projects relevant to the AHA mission: thrombosis, stem cell regeneration of the myocardium, protein aggregation,cardiac mechanotransduction and cardiomyocyte mitosis and survival.

The AHA-supported undergraduate fellows will participate in a summer research program closely aligned to our existing Summer Research Program in the Biological Sciences and Chemistry, but with significant differences. Several activities specific to the AHA fellows are planned. Recruitment will take place both within and outside of OU,
including dedicated and specific recruiting efforts for racial and socioeconomic groups underrepresented in science.

Prospective Participants
The SURP is open to undergraduates from accredited institutions of higher education with an interest in cardiovascular sciences or brain ischemia research as covered by the AHA mission, and that have an interest in potentially developing an independent research career. An emphasis is placed on applicants that are underrepresented within cardiovascular research. 

Trainee Stipend/Salary: $4,000 per student for the 12-week research experience. Institution may request support for two to five students per year.

Award duration: Three years.

Total Award Amount: $20,000 - $60,000.
Annual payment will be made to the institution for disbursement to the students. Faculty sponsor and institution assume fiscal responsibility. The institution may supplement the award amount. The award does not constitute an employee-employer relationship between the student and the American Heart Association. Direct use of award funds to pay tuition is prohibited.

Student Evaluation

  • Program evaluation will consist of student essays, surveys, collecting lists of research accomplishments, as well as external evaluations.
  • Fellows will be able to transcend peer group years, enabling them to have significant interactions with alumni Fellows of the program.
  • This will provide our Fellows an opportunity to gain timely research and career advice from those who came immediately before them. OU is therefore an ideal home for the 2019 AHA Institutional Undergraduate Student Fellowship Program.
  • Due to our meticulous planning and enthusiastic efforts, the AHA Oakland University Summer Undergraduate Research Program will launch the careers of the next generation of cardiovascular scientists.

The program includes:

  • A minimum 10-week summer research experience, May - August

  • Didactic core curriculum lectures

  • Periodic bi-weekly meetings among participants and mentors

  • Workshops in the appropriate and ethical usage of animals in research

  • Workshops in grant writing

  • Networking opportunities with world leaders in cardiovascular sciences and medicine

  • Training in bench-top and translational research methods and techniques

  • A generous stipend to cover participant expenses ($4000)

  • Opportunities to present in progress research results to colleagues and faculty

  • Participation in weekly laboratory meetings of mentoring faculty

  • Timely feedback between mentors, faculty and participants

  • Meeting with program Directors Dr. Randal Westrick within 2-3 weeks of the start of the summer session to discuss plans

Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Practical Research Skills Workshops, aimed at teaching the tools needed to perform research, will include the following topics:

  • Use of PubMed and Endnote for literature & references

  • Data Analysis and graphing with Prism (including biostatistics)

  • Abstract writing and presentation (poster and oral)

  • Searching for funding

  • Writing/Reading a scientific paper

  • Overview of cell culture techniques

  • Animal modeling of disease processes


A lecture series is presented to participants by experts in respective areas.

  • Hypothesis testing, basic statistics, laboratory conduct, ethics in science

  • Endothelial Function and Microcirculation

  • Cardiac Contractility and Remodeling

  • Careers in Cardiovascular Research and Medicine

  • Cardiac Ion Channels and Rhythm Control

  • Angiogenesis Methodology

  • Mitochondrial Function

  • Cardiac and Brain Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury

  • Introduction to Grant Writing and Future Career Funding

Application Materials

Application Materials

A complete application consists of:

  1. Application cover page

  2. Applicant résumé

  3. Undergraduate transcript with GPA

  4. Applicant personal statement

  5. Research Project Proposal

  6. Mentor letter of support

  7. One additional letter of recommendation

Research at OU

Oakland University
  • SUPER.  The Summer Undergraduate Program in Eye Research provides a unique opportunity for Oakland University undergraduates to conduct independent research projects under the guidance of Eye Research Institute faculty.
  • Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry Undergraduate Research Program. The program is a unique opportunity to conduct independent research projects in biological sciences or chemistry that will expose students to the techniques and processes of research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
  • UnCoRe. The Computer Science and Engineering Department invites students to apply to its eighth summer of an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduate students. The students selected to participate will be immersed in a research environment under the mentoring of CSE faculty.
  • Provost Undergraduate Research Award. $1,500 to support a student research or creative activity project.
  • Provost Undergraduate Student Travel Award. Student travel grant awards are intended to be used by students to attend conferences or research briefing sessions or to present papers at conferences.
  • Center for Undergraduate Research and Leadership (CURL).  Oakland's unique Center for Undergraduate Research and Leadership (CURL) supports undergraduate research initiatives, and the key work of those actively developing undergraduate research. CURL promotes leadership and excellence among the Oakland University undergraduate community, and the qualities of creativity, innovation and social and public enterprise.  Based in The Honors College, the Center advances the idea that strong undergraduate research is the future of higher education, the engine powering the success of our colleges and universities and of the public and private sectors. Champions of Research are elected to CURL on a semester basis. These Champions are faculty and undergraduate students who exemplify world class research.

External Research Opportunities
Other Programs
  • Amgen Scholars Program.  An intensive summer research opportunity is science and biotechnology that spans the United States and Europe.
  • NIH Summer Internship Program.  Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health provide an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.
  • Pathways to Science. Use this website to find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring.
  • NSF REU Search. A website maintained by the National Science Foundation that allows a search for Research Experiences for Undergraduate sites.
  • APS Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship. The American Physiological Society Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships program funds up to 24 fellowships during the summer. These fellowships are to support full-time undergraduate students to work in the laboratory of an established investigator. See their page listing other summer research fellowships.
  • Janelia Undergraduate Scholars. HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus seeks a small number of well-prepared, committed and gifted students to join an intense and exciting research environment.
  • Oak Ridge National Labs. Whether you are a recent graduate, a graduate student, an undergraduate, a K-12 student, or a faculty member, ORNL has a program that will engage you in a scientific learning experience.
  • NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. You and your school are invited to participate in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Gaithersburg, MD Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program for students majoring in science, mathematics and engineering.
  • Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (QP-SURF) program at the University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School is an intensive summer research training experience designed for college students who are preparing for careers in biomedical research.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, sponsored by Mayo Graduate School, is a great way to build your skills as a young scientist or test your inclinations toward research.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Sloan-Kettering. Students have the opportunity for hands-on research experience in cutting-edge biomedical research laboratories. Undergraduate freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with a proven interest in biomedical research are invited to apply.
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program. CSHL’s Undergraduate Research Program (URP) provides one of the few places where young people are instructed in the techniques of modern biology while becoming integrated members of a vibrant scientific community.
  • Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE). RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the UK in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. It offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of 2 to 3 months during the summer.
  • Pasteur Foundation Undergraduate Internship Program. The Pasteur Foundation Summer Internship Program provides U.S. undergraduates with the rare opportunity to conduct summer research at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France.
  • Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences. The Summer Program is a relatively intensive 6-week program, during which qualified participants receive an interesting and enjoyable introduction to biostatistics, epidemiology and public health research. The program also provides useful advice about graduate school and the application process through GRE preparation, meetings with different departments of the Harvard School of Public Health and other schools at Harvard University.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research in Pharmacology and Cancer (SURPH@Duke). This eight-week summer research experience focuses on learning how scientific discovery at the bench can be translated to treatment of disease. Students will work with a faculty mentor and carry out an independent research project in Duke’s Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Molecular & Integrative Physiology. The Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan offers summer fellowship programs to support undergraduate students that are interested in research in physiology and/or biomedical sciences.
  • University of Michigan-SMART Undergraduate Summer Program. UM-SMART is designed for undergraduate students who are potentially interested in obtaining a combined MD/PhD degree leading to a career in academic medicine focused on basic research relevant to human disease.
  • Central Michigan University Great Lakes Research Experiences for Undergraduates. This Central Michigan University Great Lakes Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, funded by the National Science Foundation and the College of Science and Engineering, supports the training of 8 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2019-2021
  • Summer Student Research Program, Food and Drug Administration. Summer research opportunities are available at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Jefferson, Arkansas.
  • Mickey Leland Energy Fellowships Program. The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE), is a 10-week summer internship program that provides opportunities to students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology (IT), engineering, or mathematics (STEM majors).
  • Johns Hopkins University Summer Internship Program. The Summer Internship Program (SIP) provides experience in research laboratories to students of diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented minority students, students from economically disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds and students with disabilities that have completed one - two or more years of college.
  • Michigan State University Undergraduate Student Summer Research Program in Biomedical Sciences. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart Lung and Blood Institute is sponsoring a summer research program at Michigan State University for undergraduate students. The goal of this program is to provide hands-on research exposure and graduate or professional school preparation opportunities for individuals who are from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research.