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Application Instructions

SR-EIP Eligibility
A Complete Application
Application Due Date
Contact Information & Research Sites
Resumé Information
Statement of Purpose
Letters of Recommendation
Step One: Executive Office Review
Step Two: Program Site Review
Step Three: Selection and Placement
Contact the Executive Office


System requirements for the application to function correctly:

  • You will need a web browser that has Javascript activated.
  • Supported web browsers include Internet Explorer 9 and above, Safari (for Macintosh users), and Firefox and Chrome.
  • You must log out of the online application after each session.

​SR-EIP Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled full-time in an accredited public or private college or university in the United States or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Demonstrate a committed interest to pursue graduate study toward a PhD or MD-PhD.
  • Have completed at least two semesters and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program.
  • Be a documented U.S. citizen or non-citizen national, or permanent resident in possession of an alien registration receipt card (I-551) or other legal document of such status at the time of application. International citizens studying in the United States with an F-1 Visa are not eligible for the SR-EIP. Individuals seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible.

Note: The SR-EIP is not designed for students pursuing professional training for careers in the practice of law, business administration, clinical medicine, clinical psychology or the allied health professions.

The Leadership Alliance encourages applications from:

  • Individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in research careers in the sciences, social sciences and humanities in the academic, public or private sectors, including students who identify as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. We understand that some disabilities affect vision, speech, hearing, attention, learning, or mobility, and other disabilities are not obvious.
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined by the Department of Health & Human Services as those who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These income levels are published on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
  • Undergraduates who bring diversity to academic study by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests.

What if my GPA is less than 3.0?

Applications from students who describe exceptional circumstances in their personal statement, or who demonstrate a marked progression of improving grades on their transcript, may be considered.

I am enrolled in an undergraduate pre-med program that guarantees my admission to medical school. Am I eligible?

No. The mission of the Leadership Alliance is to broaden participation by offering preparation and guidance to undergraduates who will be applying to PhD or MD-PhD programs. Students already guaranteed admission to medical school should not apply.

The Leadership Alliance programs encourage diversity to further its goal of preparing young scholars from underrepresented and underserved populations for graduate training and are not exclusionary on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national and ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

A Complete Application

The SR-EIP application has five sections that must be submitted before your application is complete. Four of these sections must be completed online, which can be done in multiple sessions.  When you access the application, you will be able to save information you have entered, log in at a future time and continue where you left off.

The four sections to be completed online include:

  • Contact Information and Research Sites
  • Resume Information
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation (2)

The fifth section of a complete application:

  • Official Transcript(s) that are PDFs uploaded by the student from either a printed or electronic format.  Transcripts must be uploaded by February 1, 2018.

Application Due Date

Every element of your complete application must be received no later than 11:59 PM PST February 1, 2018. This includes your official school transcript(s) [including Fall 2017 final grades]. Recommendation letters must be uploaded by the deadline. Give your recommenders sufficient advance time to write letters of recommendation.

Contact Information & Research Sites

In this section, you will be asked to provide your contact and demographic information. The answers to these questions will not affect your chance of placement. This information is used for recordkeeping and reporting purposes only.

Do I answer both the race and ethnicity question?

We request that you answer both questions. These are federal categories that we will use in describing the diversity of our program. You also have the option of "decline to indicate" for either one or both of these questions.

Program Research Sites

You will be asked to select three Leadership Alliance member institutions as your preferred SR-EIP Research Sites. You also have the option of giving the Alliance’ Executive Office permission to submit your application to other program sites.

The Summer Program Coordinator at each SR-EIP Research Site will carefully consider your experiences and your interests in deciding whether to match you with a faculty mentor on their campus. Before making your selection, you will need to be familiar with the research opportunities offered at each SR-EIP Research Site. View Further information is available at most research institutions’ websites.

You may already be considering a Leadership Alliance institution for graduate study. Before selecting the three SR-EIP Research Sites, become familiar with the graduate offerings at those institutions and the research now being done by professors in those departments. Does this research match your interests?

Finally, check the Leadership Alliance website for new initiatives that may be announced.

Can I select more than three academic institutions for research?

No, you can only select three.

Will my application be sent to all three academic institutions that I select?

Yes, unless you have selected a school that does not offer the research that you are interested in pursuing. It is possible that your application will be sent to a different institution, at the discretion of the Executive Office, provided that you have chosen the option of permitting the Alliance to forward your application as needed.

Can I select my home institution as an SR-EIP site?

 No. The SR-EIP is a summer program of eight to ten weeks’ duration and is not intended to be a continuation of research you are already performing at your home institution. You must select three institutions other than your home institution. There are no exceptions.

Resumé Information

Education, Research and Relevant Experience

In this section, you will be asked to provide information concerning your educational and research experience as well as other relevant experience. Your current resume will be the basis for the information in this section. You will have an opportunity to highlight your most significant experiences in a few brief descriptive paragraphs.

NOTE: Previous research experience is not a requirement for participation in the SR-EIP (with the exceptions that are listed). Many research sites prefer applicants with previous research experience.

Nature of Previous Research

You should provide a statement of the problem or question that was the subject of your research. List your primary tasks and responsibilities, and methodologies employed. Limit your description to no more than 100 words. Do not copy the abstract into this section.

Relevant Experience

Please describe experiences from your work or extra-curricular activities, honors or publications relevant to this program that you would like to bring to our attention. Use this section to highlight your efforts and achievements clearly and succinctly. Limit your description to no more than 100 words.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is an essay crafted to convey your academic and career goals, with an emphasis on your current research interests.  In this essay, you should demonstrate an understanding of questions and issues within your discipline and clearly explain your reason for pursuing doctoral level (PhD or MD-PhD) training.

A. Consider the following questions in preparing your statement of purpose:

  • What are your current research interests? The clearer you state your research interests (whether they are specific or general), the easier it will be to identify potential faculty mentors.
  • Describe how previous research projects, coursework or other experiences have influenced your interests. Would you prefer to continue on a similar path of inquiry, or to engage in a different approach, technique or field of study?
  • What are your future educational and career goals, and how does training as a researcher fit with your goals?
  • Briefly describe academic, volunteer or work experiences that have best prepared you to engage in research?
  • If you have had a previous research experience, describe it in detail, answering the following questions: Who was your mentor or supervisor? What was the purpose of the project? Why was it an interesting project? What impact did it have on your scholarly goals?

B. The statement of purpose should also respond to this important question:

  • How do you understand the Leadership Alliance goal of developing a diverse research workforce?

We recommend that you take time to compose your statement of purpose separately and then paste the edited document into the Statement of Purpose text box. Be sure to spell check and proofread your essay. You are limited to 1,000 words.

Can I write a different personal statement for each research site?

The application form has space for only one personal statement. As part of your statement, you may refer to specific research that interests you at each of the three institutions.

Letters of Recommendation

You will need two letters of recommendation. In this section, you will be able to request recommendation letters by sending email messages to the two people that you identify by name and email address. You will be able to review the request before it is sent and to include a brief personal message.

Your recommenders will be asked to "upload" their recommendation letters directly to the SR-EIP online application.

Your Home Page will indicate to you when the letters of recommendation have been submitted. It is important to follow up with your recommenders to be sure they are familiar with the deadline of February 1.

For recommendations, ask professors or instructors who know your work and are able to comment specifically on your performance, particularly in the field of study related to your research interest. Advisors or program directors can comment on your overall achievement, but at least one recommender should be able to comment on your abilities and potential in your chosen field of study.

Contact your professors or instructors early to give them ample time to complete the recommendations. We suggest you speak or write directly to your professors or instructors before you submit their names for the SR-EIP online application. Visit your professor or instructor during office hours or schedule an appointment to discuss your summer plans and long-term goals. Always provide a copy of your resume.

How is the email request delivered?

Your recommender will receive an email with your request, and a user name and randomly assigned password. The recommender’s user name will be identical to the email address that you enter. The email address must be accurate, or your recommender will not receive the request and will not be able to submit a recommendation for you. Check with your recommender to be sure you are using their preferred email address.

Can the email request be lost in a spam filter?

Unfortunately, this happens frequently. Contact your recommenders and inform them that they will be receiving a request for a letter from Ask them to add this address to their spam filter. Explain that their user name and password will be automatically assigned by our online system.

Can I submit more than two recommendations?

You may only submit two recommendations with your application.


Upload transcripts from all colleges you have attended full-time for at least one semester, including your Fall 2017 final grades.

To upload transcripts, start with a printed or electronic version of your official transcript. Erase or cover Social Security numbers. Save all transcripts as PDFs.
Do not upload a version of your internal academic record downloaded from your university's web site.

I transferred from a 2-year junior or community college or a 4-year baccalaureate program. Must I send a transcript from my previous institution?

Yes, if you transferred to your current school, then both transcripts are required. Send both transcripts even if your current school transcript includes transferred courses. Send transcripts from schools you attended full-time for at least one semester.

Can I request my official transcript before my Fall 2017 grades are recorded?

Your transcript must include your Fall 2017 final grades. When you make your request to the registrar, be sure that your transcript will include your Fall 2017 grades.
Late submission of your transcripts will result in your application not being processed. An exception is made only for undergraduate schools where the semester ends in late January 2017.

My Fall 2017 semester ends in late January 2017. Are my transcripts due February 1?

If your Fall semester ends with exams in January you may submit your transcripts after February 1. Before February 1, 2018, upload a letter notifying us of the delay and include your academic calendar.

I studied abroad in Fall 2017 and my official transcript will not include grades for the Fall semester.

If you studied abroad, submit an official transcript without your Fall 2017 grades. Also upload a statement describing your study abroad location and courses.

Will my application be considered if it is incomplete?

Your application will not be considered unless it is complete.

NOTE: The Leadership Alliance Executive Office is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Step One: Executive Office Review

My Application Status is Complete. What Happens Next?

The Leadership Alliance Executive Office Reviews Your Application

Your SR-EIP online application Home Page indicates when your application is complete.

Your complete SR-EIP application package is reviewed at the Leadership Alliance Executive Office to determine if you have met the eligibility requirements. This takes up to three weeks from the time your completed online application has been submitted.

Your SR-EIP online application Home Page indicates if you have met the Leadership Alliance eligibility requirements. (Eligibility does not guarantee that you will receive an offer of placement.)

Application packages that meet all eligibility requirements will be made available to the Summer Program Coordinators at the three SR-EIP Research Sites that you selected. Each research site will now make an autonomous decision about your application.

If your application does not meet the eligibility requirements, it will be closed at this time.

Step Two: Program Site Review

The SR-EIP Program Site Reviews Your Application

Summer Program Coordinators, on-campus mentors and/or mentor committees at the research institution will review each application and select eligible applicants to match with faculty mentors.

Step Three: Selection and Placement

If the Program Site Makes You a Placement Offer

A Summer Program Coordinator may email or phone you directly with an offer of placement at their research site. The offer should also appear online on the Placement Status tab of your Home Page.

The Summer Program Coordinator notifies you of an offer that includes information about your mentor or the department where you have been matched, the stipend amount, housing arrangements and travel allowance. The faculty mentor may contact you directly; you will have the opportunity to be in contact with your research mentor before you accept the offer. The Summer Program Coordinator is available to assist you with your decision.

Offers of placement are generally extended in March and April; biomedical programs may notify as early as February 2. No offers of placement will be made before February 2.

Your deadline for responding to a placement offer will be two weeks from the date that you are notified of the offer. After two weeks, your placement is not guaranteed and your place may be offered to another candidate.

You may receive an offer from more than one Leadership Alliance summer program. Carefully consider your options. Once you accept an SR-EIP placement online, you cannot undo it and accept a different SR-EIP offer.

In some circumstances, a student who has accepted an offer to participate in the SR-EIP at one site may receive an offer to participate at a different Alliance research institution.  You must inform the coordinator who has made the second offer that you have already accepted placement at another Alliance site. 

If you accept an offer from a summer research program, do not neglect to promptly decline any other offers you have received. In this way, you help open opportunities for your peers.

If the Program Site Does Not Make You a Placement Offer

If an institution has decided not to make you a placement offer, they should indicate this on the Placement Status tab of your Home Page.

If Three Sites Do Not Make You a Placement Offer

In the event you are not offered a placement at any of the three SR-EIP Program Sites you selected, the Leadership Alliance Executive Office will review your application again. If you have given us permission to forward your application to additional programs, we will determine whether to share your application with other program sites where placements are available.

The Placement Status tab of your Home Page will indicate when your application is closed.

Contact the Executive Office

If you have questions about the online application process or the SR-EIP research sites that are not answered on the web site, contact:

The Leadership Alliance Executive Office