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Application Instructions

Browser Requirements
Getting Started
SR-EIP Eligibility
Personal Information, Interests, & Schools
Education & Experience
Statement of Purpose
Letters of Recommendation
Due Date
Submitting a Complete Application
Selection and Placement
Contact the Executive Office

Browser Requirements

System requirements for the application to function correctly:

  • You will need a web browser that has Javascript activated.
  • Supported web browsers include Internet Explorer 11 and above, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Firefox and Chrome.
  • You must log out of the online application after each session.

Getting Started

You must accept our terms of service prior to getting started. The fields for your application information will become active only after you have accepted the terms of service.

A Leadership Alliance representative at your institution may be notified that you have begun an application.

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, or the allied health professions.

Note: If you attend a U.S. institution but do not meet the citizenship eligibility requirements for the SR-EIP, contact individual summer program coordinators at Research Sites to learn about other opportunities for participation in summer research.

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. Please contact the disability/accessibility office at the sites you are applying to if you have any questions about accommodations. 
  • Individuals from low-income 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 an 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.

Personal Information, Interests, & Schools

In this section, you will be asked to provide your 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 questions?
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. 

To begin, select a first-choice research field. From within that field select a first choice area of interest. Once you have made these selections, you will see a menu of research sites that match that area of interest.

Repeat the process for your second and third choice research sites. You may select the same research field and area of interest multiple times.

You also have the option of giving the Leadership 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. Further information is available at most research institutions’ websites.

Continue to 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 research sites.

Will my application be sent to all three academic institutions that I select?
Yes. Complete applications will be sent to all three institutions. In addition, 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.

Education & 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.

*Expected Date of Bachelor's Graduation: When you will complete your undergraduate education.
*Semesters of Enrollment: The beginning and end dates for your attendance at your current institution.

Research Experience

Please provide information related to your research experiences in a summer research program or during the academic year at your home institution. You are limited to listing a maximum of five experiences. 

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

Relevant Experience

You may include up to five relevant experiences. Please describe experiences from your work or extra-curricular activities, honors or publications that will provide mentors with information regarding your ability to thrive and succeed in this summer research experience. 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 should be 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 wanting to pursue doctoral level (PhD or MD-PhD) training. Limit your statement of purpose to no more than 1,000 words.

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.
  • How have previous research projects, coursework or other experiences influenced your interests?
  • Would you prefer to continue on a similar path of inquiry as previous research, 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?
  • What are the academic, volunteer or work experiences that have best prepared you to engage in research?

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

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

We recommend that you take the 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.

Can I write a different personal statement for each research site?
 No, 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 notifications 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.

You can log into the application dashboard to see if 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 as early as possible 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. You must enter an accurate email address, 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. Their username will be their email address as you have entered it, and they will set their password on the login page.

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 exempt this address from their spam filter.

Can I submit more than two recommendations?
You may only submit two recommendations with your application.


You must upload transcripts from all colleges you have attended full-time for at least one semester, including your Fall 2019 final grades. All transcripts must be saved as a PDF and uploaded by the applicant.

If available to you, we prefer an unofficial transcript. If unofficial transcripts are unavailable from your university website, you may download your academic record as a PDF.

Scanned copies of your official transcripts are accepted. If official transcripts are sent to you, you must scan and upload these transcripts to your application as a PDF.  Erase or cover Social Security numbers.

We do not accept electronic delivery of official transcripts via email from an online document delivery service.

If you have received an electronic transcript from a secure provider via email, do not upload it directly to your application. These electronic transcripts are password-protected, have the heading “Certified by Certified Document Services” or are otherwise locked. Print the transcript and then scan it to PDF.

I transferred from an associate's college or a 4-year baccalaureate program. Must I upload a transcript from my previous institution?
Yes, if you transferred to your current school, then both transcripts are required. Upload both transcripts even if your current school transcript includes transferred courses. Upload transcripts from schools you attended full-time for at least one semester.

Can I submit my transcript before my Fall 2019 grades are recorded?
No, your transcript must include your Fall 2019 final grades.

My Fall 2019 grades will not be finalized on my transcript by February 1, 2020. What should I do?
If your Fall 2019 grades (due to your academic calendar and exam period, or other unusual circumstances) are not finalized on your transcript by February 1, 2020, you may submit your transcripts after February 1. If you intend to submit your transcript after the deadline, you are required to upload a letter (PDF) notifying us of the reason for the delay and select "Complete This Section" prior to February 1. Then, after February 1, email your transcript as a PDF attachment to with "TranscriptFor2020" in the subject line.

I studied abroad in Fall 2019 and my school transcript will not include grades for the Fall semester. What should I do?
If you studied abroad in Fall 2019, submit a transcript without your Fall 2019 grades. In addition, you must upload a statement (PDF) describing your study abroad location and courses. Select "Complete This Section" prior to February 1. We do not require that you send your final grades from your study abroad.

Will my application be considered if it is incomplete?
No, your application will not be considered unless it is complete.

The SR-EIP Program Site Reviews Your Application
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.

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

Due Date

Every element of your complete application must be received no later than 11:59 PM PST February 1, 2020. A complete application includes your school transcript(s), including Fall 2019 final grades. Recommendation letters must be uploaded by the deadline. Give your recommenders sufficient advance time to write letters of recommendation.

Submitting a Complete Application

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

The sections you must complete include:

  • Personal Information, Interests and Schools
  • Education & Experience
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation (2)
  • Transcripts that are PDFs uploaded by the applicant.

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 application.

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 application.

If Three Sites Do Not Make You a Placement Offer

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 website, contact:

The Leadership Alliance Executive Office