Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the program?

The goal of the UM-SMART summer research program is to help students decide if a career as a physician-scientist is right for them, and to enhance competitiveness when applying to MD/PhD programs.

How do I apply?

You will apply online here. First, you will need to either register for or log into a SMApply account. If you need to register, click the green "Register" button in the top right hand corner of the application page. Complete the required information and click "Create Account". More information available on setting up at SMApply Account here.

Next, you will create an application. If you have not created any SMApply applications yet, you will click "View Programs", then click "MORE" for the UM-SMART Summer Undergraduate Research Program 2021 and click "Apply". If you have existing applications, click "Programs" in the top right corner, click "MORE" for the UM-SMART Summer Undergraduate Research Program 2021 and then click "Apply".

You will then need to complete the Application Form, upload your unofficial college transcripts and request 2 letters of recommendation. Once all materials are received, you will need to submit your completed application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the status of the letters of recommendation and submit their application. Only completed applications that are submitted will be reviewed.

What is the application deadline?

The application deadline is February 1, 2021.  All application materials including letters of recommendation must be received by February 1, 2021.  Please note, you will not be able to submit your application until all materials are complete.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the status of the letters of recommendation and submit their application.  Only completed applications that are submitted will be reviewed.

When will I hear about the status of my application?

Completed applications are due February 1, 2021.  The review process begins at the beginning of February and we anticipate informing applicants about virtual interviews at the end of February or beginning of March 2021.  WE anticipate notifying all applicants of their status by the end of March.  

What are the program dates? Are they flexible?

The UM-SMART summer research program is tentatively planned for Monday, May 24, 2021 to Sunday, August 1, 2021.  If we are able to hold an in person program, and if we are able to offer residence hall housing, we anticipate residence hall move-in will be May 22nd and 23rd.  Program dates  are not flexible.  In order to get the most benefit from the program, you must be able to participate in laboratory work for about eight hours a day, five days a week for the duration of the 10-week program.  All UM-SMART fellows are required to attend UM-SMART Orientation the morning of May 24th.

If we are not able to hold an in-person event, a shortened virtual program will be offered, and the dates will be communicated to applicants as soon as possible after the decision is made to move to a virtual format.

How will the program be affected by COVID-19?

While we are hopeful and planning for an in person program in 2021, due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status of the program is currently tentative.  The health and safety of UM-SMART participants and our community is of upmost importance.  In the event that joining us on campus is not possible, an alternative virtual experience will be offered focusing on professional development opportunities relevant to medicine, science, and the pursuit of an MD/PhD.  We will be in touch with updates to the status of the program as we know them.

My recommender hasn’t received their email, what should I do?

First, check to ensure that the email you entered is correct and there are no spelling mistakes.  If the email is listed incorrectly, you will need to delete your request and start a new one.  WARNING: Deleting the request will rescind the invitation and delete any progress the recommender may have made on their task. Once you send them another request they will be able to start a new recommendation form.

If the email is correct, have the recommender check their Spam/Junk Folder.  If they aren’t able to locate the email in any inbox, Resend the Invitation. Click to edit the Get a Recommendation task and Resend the Invitation to them. Repeat step 2 if necessary.

If neither of these options resolve the issue, have the recommender contact the SM support team for Login Assistance. It is important that they contact the SM support team themselves with no CC's on the email. 

Is there specific coursework needed to be eligible to participate in the UM-SMART program?

Eligible applicants must have completed a physiology, biology, biochemistry, or organic chemistry course, preferably with lab.  You also must maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average.

Can I apply if I am a freshman, but have sophomore or junior standing due to credits?

No, we do not accept applications from students who are true freshman.  Students must have completed their sophomore year by the program start.

Can I apply if I am a senior?

Yes, we do accept applications from undergraduate seniors graduating in Spring 2021, however we do not accept students who are applying to medical or graduate school in 2020 for possible admission in 2021.

Do I need prior research experience to apply?

In order to be eligible for the UM-SMART program, applicants must have at least 100 hours of experience in a research lab by June 1, 2021.  This is in addition to completing a lab associated with a science course.  If at this point you do not have at least 100 hours of research experience, we recommend exploring additional research opportunities and applying in a future year.

If I am an international student, a student on a student visa (F1) or DACA student can I apply to your program?

No. We only accept U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents with a social security number.  

Is housing provided?

Yes, at this time we are planning to provide double-occupancy residence hall housing on campus.  Due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status of the housing for the program is currently tentative.  We will keep this information updated as we know more information.

Are meals provided?

A food allowance is provided to be used for meals at dining facilities on campus.

What is the program stipend?

UM-SMART Fellows working in a lab receive a stipend of $4,400.  The stipend is paid in three payments over the course of the 10-week program.  Due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status of the program and stipend is currently tentative.  

Is travel reimbursed?

Transportation costs to and from Ann Arbor up to $200 are reimbursed with receipts.

How many students do you accept?

Each year we accept about 8 UM-SMART fellows.

How are UM-SMART fellows paired with faculty mentors?

The UM-SMART Program Director assigns labs and mentors based on research interest, availability, and mentoring expertise.