The Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research Project L/EARN

Funding for underrepresented students interested in pursuing graduate degrees to conduct summer research in biology at Rutgers University

In accordance with the national goals of HEALTHY PEOPLE 2020, Project L/EARN targets members of groups that have been traditionally under-represented in health-related graduate programs with the intent of increasing the number of health researchers from those groups. Project L/EARN identifies students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, racial/ethnic minority groups, first generation college attenders, and those with an interest in health disparities, and provides them with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. Past interns have come from a variety of majors, including psychology, sociology, economics, political science, nursing, public health, pharmacy, biology, statistics, urban studies, and public policy. Project L/EARN is open to students from any U.S. college or university. Project L/EARN is a research training program of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University.

The summer program is an intensive ten-week internship opportunity for qualified students who would like to obtain research skills and "hands-on" experience in health services research under the guidance of a distinguished faculty mentor. Summer training often leads to involvement in faculty research during the subsequent academic year . Faculty mentors represent a diverse array of disciplines, including health economics, medical sociology, medical anthropology, public health, social work, nursing, and health psychology; all head vigorous research programs. Each intern will be matched with a faculty mentor whose work is most closely aligned with his or her particular interests, skills, and background.

Deadline Information


The core of the summer program is daily lectures and computer laboratory sessions that provide training in research methods, study design, data management, and statistical analysis (programming in SPSS). Project L/EARN has been designated as one of Rutgers University's Graduate Education Preparation Programs . Interns will be provided with GRE preparation, as well as extensive guidance with respect to applying to graduate school.

Project L/EARN is more than a full time commitment. Consider it the equivalent of a very demanding course load and a part time job. Participants cannot take any additional summer classes or hold employment during the program period and are required to live in the campus housingprovided. Participants are required to attend all seminar series and program events (on and off-campus), meet with mentors regularly, and complete all scheduled assignments within the timeframe provided.

Eligibility Requirements

The program invites sophomore and junior students with an interest in health, mental health, or health services research to apply to the Project L/EARN Summer 2017 research training program. Students from any U.S. college or university are welcome to apply. Applicants must satisfy all five of these criteria:

  1. have at least one full academic year left to complete their undergraduate degree,
  2. have completed at least one course in statistics or quantitative methods by the time the summer program begins. Click here for list of approved courses.
  3. able to be in New Jersey from Tuesday May 30 through Friday Augest 4, 2017 for the summer training program
  4. be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent U.S. resident attending a U.S. university.
  5. and be a member of at least one of the groups specified as under-represented in graduate education, such as, but not limited to those from economically disadvantaged communities, first generation college attenders, those from racial/ethnic minority groups (African-American, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islanders), those with disabilities, or with strong interests in health disparities.

Students from any U.S. college or university are welcome to apply.

Application Process

The Project L/EARN application consists of

  • a page of demographic and educational information,
  • an unofficial college transcript, and
  • five short essays
  • (one to two double-spaced pages each; Times New Roman 11 point type);

Applicants will be evaluated by potential faculty mentors on the basis of their academic records and the compatibility of their interests and skills with faculty projects.