Pathways Undergraduate Researchers is a competitive, full-time, paid summer internship program for first- and second-year college students. The program is specifically designed for students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science. Interns are paired and immersed in nine weeks of mentored activities in a Fred Hutch research group in Seattle. Interns also participate in a cancer biology education series, attend professional development workshops and enjoy social activities with their teams and peers.
The application period for the 2021 program has ended. If you are looking for alternate summer programs, please check out the Catalog of Biomedical Research Internships.
As of March 18, 2021, we are planning to hold the Pathways Undergrads as as a mostly in-person program in Seattle from June 23 through August 20. However, the final format of the program will depend upon evidence-based understanding of the risk posed by COVID-19. We will provide updates here as more information becomes available.
Note to 2021 applicants - We will make final decisions on acceptance by mid-April.
If you have immediate questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pathways Undergraduate Researchers internship is open to rising 1st-, 2nd- or 3rd-year undergraduate students who:
Prior research experience is not required. Interns from previous years may apply to return for a second summer if they meet the above eligibility requirements. Returning interns may also apply to the SHIP Leads programs. See section below for application instructions for returning interns.
Pathways Undergrads is specifically designed for students from racial and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in health sciences, persons with disabilities, and persons raised in economically disadvantaged areas.
If you don't meet the eligibility requirements, you can find additional scientific research opportunities from Pathways to Science, the Fred Hutch SURP catalog, the Guide to Life Science Careers and the Fred Hutch Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
Interns spend the majority of the nine-week session under the guidance of a mentor in a Fred Hutch research group. During the first week, interns meet as a cohort for an orientation to the program and to learn laboratory safety and hands-on research techniques. The remaining eight weeks focus on mentored research activities, which interns present to the Fred Hutch community on the final day of the program.
During one day each week, interns participate in professional development workshops designed to advance their knowledge and competence in three areas:
Interns also attend workshops on a variety of topics, including resumes and personal statements, effective mentor/mentee relationship, oral and written communication skills and preparing for life after college.
The program sponsors social activities to develop a supportive community among the interns and their mentors and colleagues at the Hutch.
This program is supported by the NIH National Cancer Institute (R25-CA221770) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (U54-DK106829). For more information about becoming a program sponsor, please contact Corporate Gifts.
The application period for the 2021 program closed on Feb 28. We are no longer accepting applications.
Please read the following sections carefully for details on the application.
Due to the competitive nature of the Pathways Undergraduate Researchers program, the following suggestions should be taken into consideration when preparing an application; however, adhering to these recommendations does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
A PDF preview of the 2021 application for new interns is available here.
The application has two online components — an applicant section that you complete and a separate online form that your references complete. We require two recommendations for your application to be considered.
Thoroughly review the application and complete your section well in advance of the deadline. Proofread your application and essays carefully. You will not be able to go back into the system after you submit your application. Your references will not receive a recommendation request until your portion is submitted.
To apply, you must:
Once you complete your part of the application, we will email a recommendation link to your references. Submit your section early so your references have time to complete their form.
All application materials, including references, are due by 11:59 pm on February 28.
Before you begin your application, learn about Fred Hutch and our areas of research. Be able to articulate how your academic and career goals are in line with the Fred Hutch mission and research. Also prepare to describe how a summer in a Fred Hutch research group will help you specifically. This will allow you to submit a well-informed application that clearly shows how your interests align with our research.
The short essays are a crucial part of the application. Start early and take time to be sure your responses are thoughtful and well written.
The short essays provide an opportunity to share your experiences and perspectives. It's also the primary place where you can elaborate on the qualities and attributes that will help you succeed in this program. Use specific examples. Essays should be written in full sentences and composed paragraphs. Ask friends, teachers, and/or advisors to review your essay for content, clarity and grammar.
The short essays each have 200-word limits, but we do not expect you to use all the space. The essay questions are:
Interns from previous years who are applying to return in 2021 have different essay questions, which are listed in the Returning Interns section below.
We require two recommendations for your application to be considered. An informative recommendation should come from someone who can highlight your strengths that are relevant to the program, your quality as a student compared to other students, your accomplishments and how this program will further your academic/career goals.
When requesting a recommendation:
How the recommendation should be submitted:
We require a specific, easy-to-complete online recommendation form. We do not accept free-form letters. In addition to contact information, our form asks your references to:
After you submit your portion of the application, your references will receive an email with a link to the recommendation form.
Fred Hutch interns from previous years are eligible to apply to return as Pathways Undergraduate Researchers, if they meet the eligibility requirements. In addition to the Pathways Undergraduate Intern program, returning interns can also apply to be Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP) Leads.
Fred Hutch interns who participated in the SHIP or Pathways Undergrads program may apply to return as a Pathways Undergraduate Researchers Program, if they meet the program criteria. Returning applicants will apply through the same system as new applicants. Returning intern applicants have a unique set of short essay questions and each response is limited to 1000 characters.
All retuning applicants will answer the following two questions:
Returning applicants to the SHIP Leads program will also answer:
A preview a PDF of the application for previous interns is here. Please review.
Returning interns participating in the Pathways Undergraduate Researchers Program can also apply to be leaders in the Summer High School Internship Program. SHIP Leads assist in the high school interns’ orientation and training week, and oversee selected activities with the high school interns.
Interns apply to be SHIP Leads through the Pathways Undergraduate Researchers Program application.
The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Clinical Scholars Program is a two-week collaborative effort by the SCCA and Fred Hutch. The program provides a structured opportunity for students to observe the high-quality care provided by the SCCA.
Due to uncertainites caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to offer the SCCA Clinical Scholars program in 2021.
As a result, the Pathways Undergrads program will have an increased emphasis on clinical careers and practices for all interns.
We are planning a new clinical exposure program that will be announced once the strain of the pandemic subsides.
Please contact us with questions that are not addressed on this webpage.
Pathways Undergrads staff do not facilitate research internships for students outside of the 9-week summer program and will not accept unsolicited or late applications.