Summer Undergraduate Vision Research Fellowship Program

The West Virginia University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences offers an undergraduate summer research internship opportunity that is supported by the WVU Visual Sciences Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE). The 10-week vision research internship program from May 24, 2023 - August 2, 2023 will take place in-person at West Virginia University's Health Sciences Center in Morgantown.

The highly selective program will emphasize components of basic vision research with regards to ocular diseases and exploration of new diagnostic and treatment methods. Undergraduate students with career interests in vision, neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular medicine basic research topics are encouraged to apply. Upon selection, students will receive a $5,000 participant compensation for cost-of-living expenses in Morgantown over the 10-week-long program duration.

Each student will be assigned a mentor currently conducting research in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences laboratory space and will complete a small-scale research project to be presented at the completion of the fellowship. Projects will focus on mechanisms behind ocular diseases and exploration of possible treatments. Students will also have the opportunity to sit in on a weekly graduate-level visual sciences course taught by Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences faculty.

Group photo of 2022 Summer Undergraduate Vision Research Fellowship students

2022 Summer Undergraduate Vision Research Fellowship Students (From left to right: Ciersten Rose, Concord University; Dana Goodman, Fairmont State University; Kamden Dulaney, Fairmont State University; Emmanuel Frimpong, Claflin University; Patricia Best, Fairmont State University; Marion Cahill, West Virginia University; Jason Borst, University of Virginia; Jack Evans, West Virginia University) 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in a U.S. university or college (International students enrolled in a U.S. university or college are responsible to obtain their own visa and work permit if accepted to the program).

  • Undergraduate applicants must be entering sophomore status or higher.

  • Post-graduates or students from non-US institutions will not be considered.

Preferred Selection Factors

  • Academic record demonstrating interest in the sciences and achievement

  • Previous research experience

  • Interest in careers specifically involving ophthalmic and/or general research and medicine

Application Information

To apply, please fill and submit the Summer Undergraduate Vision Research Fellowship Program Application form below. The application package document should include a cover letter and an up-to-date official academic transcript, uploaded as a single PDF file. The cover letter should contain: 1) a description of your interest in the program, 2) a description of your plans after graduating including any plans to apply to a graduate program (e.g., Ph.D. program) or a professional school (e.g., medical school), 3) your top 3 choices for summer research mentors, selected from the roster of available mentors below:

Host Lab Mentors

A photo of Visvanathan Ramamurthy.
Visvanathan Ramamurthy, PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Professor & Chairman, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Phone
304-293-8411
A photo of Sadie Bergeron.
Sadie Bergeron, PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Assistant Professor, Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (SOM)
Phone
304-293-5223
A photo of Wen Tao Deng.
Wen Tao Deng, PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
A photo of Jianhai Du.
Jianhai Du, PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Phone
304-598-6903
A photo of Eric Horstick.
Eric Horstick, PhD
West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Phone
304-293-6670
A photo of Saravanan Kolandaivelu.
Saravanan Kolandaivelu, PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Phone
304-598-5484
A photo of Rong Liu.
Rong Liu, PhD
West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
A photo of Joel Palko.
Joel Palko, MD
West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Phone
304-598-6925
A photo of Michael Robichaux.
Michael Robichaux, PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Phone
304-293-1162
A photo of Ezequiel Salido.
Ezequiel Salido, MD/PhD
West Virginia University
Positions
Research Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Research Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
A photo of Bradley Webb.
Bradley Webb, PhD
West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Phone
304-293-6615

Applicants should arrange to have two letters of recommendation from advisors, professors or other academic mentors to be submitted using the Confidential Letter Submission form below. The application deadline is March 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST. A full application package and both letters of recommendation are due by the deadline for an applicant to be reviewed and considered. Promising candidates will be contacted for virtual interviews in early April 2023.

Summer Undergraduate Vision Research Fellowship Program Application

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Confidential Letter Submission

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