Four Directions Summer Research Program

Opportunity Description:

The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) is a unique summer research opportunity at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) for undergraduate rising sophomores, juniors and seniors with a commitment to the health of Native American communities. Students engage in a basic science research project under the direction of a Harvard Medical School Faculty Mentor. Additional activities include clinical shadowing, career development seminars, weekly Talking Circles, networking events and more. Upon completion of the program, students leave BWH and HMS with new skills, experiences and knowledge that can be used to empower themselves, their communities and future generations of Native peoples from all Four Directions.

Program features:

  • Eight-week research experience. Students work with their lab mentor to submit an abstract of their summer research and share their research findings during a final research presentation day.
  • Clinical shadowing. Students have two half-days to shadow clinicians spanning a wide range of disciplines at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
  • Talking Circle. Talking Circle is a traditional component of Native American culture. Students meet weekly with Program Director Tom Sequist to discuss a variety of topics over dinner.
  • Professional  and Career Development Workshops. Students meet regularly with faculty from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) to discuss topics such as MD/PhD programs, medical school admissions, health policy, interviewing and presentation skills.
  • Social & Networking Events. Group dinners and barbecues, sight-seeing around Boston, networking events with Harvard Medical Students and more.

Financial support details:

  • Transportation to and from Boston. Our team covers the complete cost of travel to and from Boston. This includes your flight/bus to and from Boston Logan Airport as well as your travel from Boston Logan Airport to your housing residence, and vice versa upon departure. We also provide students with a $75 USD subway pass for transportation while in Boston.
  • Housing. Our program provides housing free of charge for the entire length of the eight-week program. We also provide pots, pans and other utensils for meal preparation.
  • Living stipend. FDSRP provides each student a stipend of $5,000 for the eight-week program.
    Select program meals and social activities. Includes light breakfasts and lunches during workshops, weekly dinners for Talking Circle, and food, transportation and tickets for program-specific social activities.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Undergraduates entering their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of college
  • Demonstrated commitment to/interest in the health of Native American communities

No prior research experience is required, and applicants need not be Native American.

Application Process: 

  • Write your Personal Statement
    Please describe in 400-750 words your educational and professional goals, and how your participation in the BWH Four Directions Summer Research Program will assist in meeting your goals. Be sure to articulate your qualifications and reasons for wishing to participate in the program. Please upload your personal statement to the application as a word document or PDF file. Be sure to include your last name as a header on all pages.
  • Write your answer to the Essay Question: In 150 words or less, please describe your involvement in the Native American Community. Please be sure to include any hobbies, cultural activities or volunteer work that may demonstrate your contribution to the lives of Native People.
  • Send your Unofficial Transcript: Please have them sent to: (PDF format) 
  • Request 2 Letters of Recommendations (you must make these requests).
    Recommendation letters must be submitted :

    Via Email to
    Letter should be emailed as a PDF document and include an official letterhead at the top.
    Letter must be emailed DIRECTLY by the letter writer.

  • Complete online application and upload your essay.
  • Wait for application confirmation screen

Application deadline varies from year-to-year.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: