Aging & Neurological Diseases Track

Summer Research Programs students visit The Federal Reserve in St. Louis

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 the field of aging.



Program Overview

The full-time, immersive summer research experience is available annually for up to 10 undergraduate students who are interested in exploring opportunities in 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.

Read about the 2019 Aging & Neurological Track Summer Program
Accepted students will:

• Gain exposure to top investigators and diverse research topics. Accepted students are matched with a faculty mentor and will spend eight weeks, beginning June 1, up to 32 hours as part of their mentor’s research team. Students will also participate in weekly workshops
• Participate in all daytime activities in this program, 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday
• Receive an orientation that covers both the health-related issues and an introduction to research approaches to ensure that all students have a useful level of background knowledge to supplement their research placement experience
• Have opportunities to build a social network with student peers, faculty, and staff
• Receive a $3,200 stipend and a Metrolink transit pass (for non-WashU students)

Read a blog from a 2019 Aging & Neurological Disease Track Participant

Applicant Eligibility

• Applicants must have completed at least two semesters of undergraduate work by the start of the program on June 1.
• This program is only open to students who are working on an undergraduate degree at the time of our summer program; we are not accepting May 2020 graduates. Graduate, professional, or medical students are also not eligible.
• Students attending universities and colleges in the St. Louis Metropolitan Region will receive priority. Students from other institutions may also apply.
• 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 research program is open 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.
• Students with backgrounds and experiences traditionally underrepresented among researchers are strongly encouraged to apply.
• 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 are looking for students who are interested in exploring opportunities in research and aging fields.


The Application Period is NOW EXTENDED!

Completed applications are due Friday, January 17 by 5 p.m. CST. No exceptions please!
• Selections will be made and announced by March 1 and acceptance must be received by March 15.
The program runs from June 1 – July 31, 2020.
• Students are expected to participate in the program full-time, Monday through Friday.

Application Package

Applicants must submit the following by the application deadline:

• Completed Application Form via online survey
• Personal Statement (max length 2 pages): This original essay should describe the following: 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. The personal statement should be completed before starting the online application. It will be uploaded as a PDF when you complete your application.
• At least one supportive recommendation letter. References must be an instructor, professor, academic advisor, or other faculty or staff member affiliated with your current college with whom you have worked.
• Letters should be submitted by the reference to Applicants are responsible for ensuring the reference letter is submitted on time.

Please direct questions and requests for applications to: Natalie Galucia, Friedman Center Manager at: or

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). 

Past Summer Research Programs

2019 Aging and Neurological Disease Student Cohort
2019 Aging and Neurological Disease Mentors
2018 Aging and Neurological Disease Track Program Summary