Aging & Neurological Diseases Track

The Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health annually offers an eight-week summer research program with opportunities for undergraduate students to develop experience in research and aging.

Program Overview

The eight-week, full-time, immersive summer research experience is available annually for up to 10 undergraduate students who are interested in exploring opportunities in research on aging. Through this program, students learn about three neurological conditions and diseases that often interplay with the aging process: stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Participants work in research labs and centers focused on these issues.

Program Benefits

  • Exposure to top investigators and diverse research topics. Accepted students are matched with a faculty mentor and beginning June 3, will spend eight weeks (up to 32 hours) as part of their mentor’s research team. Students will also participate in weekly workshops.
    • Participants are expected to participate in all daytime activities in this program, 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday.
  • A comprehensive orientation covering both the health-related issues and an introduction to research approaches. This ensures all participants have a useful level of background knowledge to supplement their research placement experience.
  • Opportunities to build a social network with student peers, faculty, and staff.
  • A $3,200 stipend and a free Metrolink transit pass (for non-WashU students).

Applicant Eligibility

The 2019 application period has ended. 

  • Applicants must have completed at least two semesters of undergraduate work by the start of the summer program.
    • The program is open to students who are working on an undergraduate degree at the time of the summer program; Current year May graduates, graduate students and professional or medical students are not eligible.
    • Note: If you are a graduate, professional, or medical student and are interested in a research opportunity focused on aging, please contact
  • Students attending universities and colleges in the St. Louis metropolitan region will receive priority consideration however, students from other institutions may also apply during the application period.
    • The St. Louis Metro Region is made up of counties in Missouri (Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, City of St. Louis, Warren, and Washington) and Illinois (Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair).
  • Our annual research program is open annually to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Due to grant restrictions, we are unable to fund students who are not citizens or permanent residents.
    • Note: If you are an international student seeking a research opportunity focused on aging, please contact
  • Students who have backgrounds and experiences traditionally underrepresented among researchers are also encouraged to apply during the application period.
    • This includes students who identify as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hawaiian Native, first-generation college, women, military veterans, living with a disability, and/or have experienced substantial economic obstacles.
  • Previous research experience is not required. We also seek student participants who are interested in exploring opportunities in research and aging fields.


The Summer Research Program runs from June 3-July 26, 2019.

  • Students participate in the program full-time, Monday through Friday.

Application Package

The 2019 application period has ended. 

  • Personal Statement (max length 2 pages)
    • One original essay describing the following is required: What specific influences have made you interested in this summer research experience? What do you hope to gain from this experience? If you have done research in the past (not required for this program,) briefly describe the project you worked on and how the experience is driving your current interests.
    • Once the application is completed, applicants upload their essays as a PDF.
  • At least one supportive recommendation letter is required. References should be an instructor, professor, academic advisor, or other faculty or staff member affiliated from the applicant’s current college with whom the applicant has worked.
    • Applicants are responsible for ensuring the reference letter is submitted on time by the reference to:

For more information, contact our team at: or 314-747-9192

This program is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke via the NIH Summer Research Education Experience Programs funding opportunity (PI: Carpenter, 1R25NS100133-01A1).