Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine invites undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to participate in the Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program. This Program is designed to provide students with hands-on cancer research experience for 10 weeks over the summer. Opportunities range from basic science research to clinical research to prevention/control and population research. In addition to completing a research project with a faculty mentor, participants also engage in a variety of other activities as part of the program, including tours of state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research facilities and weekly seminars on current areas of research and career building tools.

We plan to hold the Summer Opportunities Program in 2021. However, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, selected trainees should prepare to be flexible and may need to complete their research partially or fully online. Updates, resources, and current University policies are available on the Washington University COVID-19 Website.

Applications for Summer 2022 will open in November 2021.


2021 program dates are June 1 – August 6

2022 program dates are May 31 – August 5

Students’ daily schedules will depend on the research area in which they are working, but participants are expected to work approximately 40 hours per week.


Applicants must be a current undergraduate, graduate or medical student currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, MD, PhD, or DO training.

Students must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent U.S. resident, in possession of a F-1 visa through Washington University, or completing the optional practical training (OPT) on a F-1 visa through another university. The summer program does not qualify for an H-1B visa, J-1 visa or TN visa.

There is no set number of accepted participants of any specific class year or academic background and applicants are not required to have prior laboratory experience.  Diversity in academic study and research is key to scientific discovery, students with diverse backgrounds and experiences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Stipend, Travel, & Housing

Students will be provided a $6,200 stipend that will be disbursed in two payments. (The last days of June and July).

Typically, participants are responsible for their travel to St. Louis and housing. Housing is available on campus for out-of-town participants at summer term rates as space allows. 

Due to the constant changes brought on by COVID-19, trainees in need of on-campus housing should watch for announcements from Summer Housing Services.

Siteman Summer Student Program Participants

First row – L to R: Noa Rose (University of Wisconsin), Megan Landon (Washington University School of Medicine), Alyssa Steege (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Second row: Katina Massad (Williams College), Faith Vietor (Truman State University), Isabel Risch (Washington University in St. Louis)
Third row: Shiv Sethi (Carnegie Mellon University), Abhishek Sethi (Washington University in St. Louis), Sean Varga (Thomas Jefferson University)
Not pictured: Victoria Borodina (Bryn Mawr College, Clarence Chu (University of Missouri School of Medicine), Kimi Spilo (Washington University in St. Louis)


Applications will be accepted from November 1 until January 18 at 8:00 AM CST.

Applications must be submitted via proposalCENTRAL (https://proposalCENTRAL.altum.com). Materials needed for a complete application:

  • Application Form
  • Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Undergraduate Transcript(s) (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • Graduate and/or Medical School Transcript (if applicable) – If medical transcripts are not available a letter of good-standing is acceptable
  • Two reference letters (listed as “Blind Letters of Support” in the application system)

Please review the Application Guidelines as you complete your application. Application materials, including reference letters, submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Incomplete applications after the deadline will not move forward to the review process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all materials have been received prior to the deadline.

Applicant Review

Complete applications that have been submitted by the deadline (January 18, 8:00 AM CST) will be reviewed.  Those selected will be matched to research opportunities available at Siteman Cancer Center by March 15.


I am a current high school senior. Am I eligible to apply?

No. Only students who are in undergraduate, graduate or medical school during the application process are eligible to apply. Students must be currently or intending to pursue MD and/or PhD training.

Are high school letters of recommendations accepted if I have only completed one semester of college and do not know my professors well?

It is most important that those writing recommendations be able to speak to your abilities, training, experience and performance. If your high school instructors are the ones most able to make these assessments, then you may use these recommendations. All other things being equal, college recommendations would be preferred, but the most important aspect is how much the person writing the letter can judge your past and future performance.

My reference cannot submit their letter by the deadline. Will you accept it a few days late?

No. All application materials, including reference letters, must be submitted by the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their materials have been received prior to this deadline.

Can I start the program later or leave earlier than the official starting and ending date of the program?

We highly encourage students to avoid missing the official program dates. However, requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


For questions regarding the Program, please contact scc.researchtraining@gowustl.onmicrosoft.com.

For questions regarding proposalCENTRAL, please contact customer support at (800) 875-2562 or pcsupport@altum.com. Customer support is available Monday – Friday (8:30 – 5:00pm EST).

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University’s Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130