Summer Fellowships: how to apply


The Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation and its partners provide funding to Summer Fellows to receive training and conduct basic biomedical research in a laboratory at Harvard Medical School (HMS) or an affiliated hospital, from June 28 – August 27, 2021.
The program is aimed at students enrolled in Italian universities, who wish to explore the American research system and who will return to their home institution to complete their degree.

Notes:

  • Applications from students enrolled in an Italian university who are permanent residents of Italy (but non-Italian citizens) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Exchange students at Italian universities are not eligible. 
  • Clinical research or clinical activities are not supported by this program.
  • At the time of this Call, we anticipate being able to offer the Summer Fellows Program in Boston in the summer of 2021. We will, however, continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and adjust the program according to safety guidelines, U.S. and/or Harvard travel bans and exemptions, and any suspension of visa issuance, as the situation evolves.

The Foundation receives on average 100 applications and awards 10-15 fellowships per year. Aside from an outstanding academic record and an overall well-rounded application, the Selection Committee particularly focuses on the Personal Essay and Lab Choice Statement. To demonstrate maturity, ability to articulate why you want to spend the summer in one of the labs of your choice, and how this experience could benefit your career path, are key elements of your application.

This program is under the Patronage of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.

ELIGIBILITY

Students enrolled in an Italian public or private university [1] in a “Laurea Specialistica” (4th and 5th year) with a focus on biomedical research (e.g. Biology, Biotechnology, Neuroscience, etc.) or in the 4th, 5th, or 6th year of Medicine. Students expecting to graduate before August 27, 2021 are not eligible. Previous research experience is strongly recommended.

The Armenise Harvard Summer Fellowship is NOT compatible with having any other summer fellowship or position that requires research activity at the same time. The Summer Fellowship program demands a full-time commitment on your part.

FELLOWSHIP PAYMENT

Successful applicants will be awarded a fellowship payment of 2,700 Euros intended to help with costs associated with travel to Boston, housing during the fellowship, health insurance, visa application fees, and incidentals. Such fellowship payment will occur as reimbursement at the end of the program.

PAST SPONSORS

Fellowships in the past have been sponsored by the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation, Charles River Laboratories, Collegio Ghislieri, Collegio Nuovo, Friends of the Italian Cultural Center of Boston (FICCB), Fondazione CEUR, Fondazione Invernizzi, University of Catania, University of Pavia, Italian National Research Council (CNR), University of Naples “Federico II”, Humanitas University, San Raffaele University, and CIBIO/University of Trento.

APPLICATION GUIDELINES

The Summer 2021 Call for Applications is now open. The deadline for submitting applications and a letter of reference is December 4, 2020. Applications and a letter of reference submitted after 5:00 PM CET on December 4, 2020 will NOT be accepted. Applications must be in English and fully compliant with these instructions. The application process includes completing an electronic application and submitting attachments in the following order:

Application Form

Student Curriculum Vitae summarizing both academic and extra-curricular achievements. Tips to compose CV: focus on education, basic research laboratory experience, and other interests/skills. Do not include your photo. (File name: LastNameFirstInitialCV, e.g. MillerLCV.pdf) The file name should be included as a header or footer in each page of the document.

For guidance on how to write a CV and resume, refer to the information in this link:

http://hwpi.harvard.edu/files/ocs/files/masters_resume_cover_letters.pdf

University Transcript in English (official statement of exam results) with translation, if necessary. (File name: LastNameFirst InitialTranscript, e.g. MillerLTranscript.pdf)

One page (approx. 500 words) Personal Essay describing your career path and research experience, if any, and how you will benefit from this program. The essay must speak to who you are, your research experience, your scientific interests, and where you see yourself in the future. Be specific and personal. While it is acceptable to use an English speaker to edit the language in the essay, students who use an essay written by someone else will be disqualified. Tips to write the Personal Essay: 1. Personality – Describe your strengths and your areas that need development. 2. Drivers – What are the reasons you want this fellowship? What would you like to achieve? How do you expect this experience to impact your career/academic development? 3. Science – Why did you choose science? What kind of scientific experience do you have? If you have worked in a lab, what did you learn? What did you like or not like about it? (File name: LastNameFirstInitialPersonalEssay, e.g. MillerLPersonalEssay.pdf) The file name should be included as a header or footer in each page of the document.

For guidance on how to write a cover letter, refer to the information in this link:

http://hwpi.harvard.edu/files/ocs/files/masters_resume_cover_letters.pdf

Proof of English Language Proficiency (OPTIONAL): Applicants must be fluent in English and should submit TOEFL or Cambridge Proficiency scores. Students with no TOEFL or CP test scores should submit a statement certifying competency in English. (File name: LastNameFirstInitialEnglish, e.g. MillerLEnglish.pdf) The file name should be included as a header or footer in each page of the document.

One page (approx. 500 words) Lab Choice Statement indicating three laboratories at HMS or affiliated hospitals you are most interested in, and why, listed in order of preference. For each laboratory, specify the full name of the Principal Investigator, the department, and institute. Refer to the list below for lab possibilities. Tips to write Lab Choice Statement: 1. Do Research! – You cannot change your choice of labs after you have submitted your application; therefore, read all the information you can find about the labs you’ve chosen. 2. Information – Clearly state the full name of the Principal Investigator, the department, and institute for each of your lab choices. 3. Science – Describe each lab’s research activity and explain the scientific reasons why you want to join that lab. What kind of project would you like to be involved in? Why do you think it would benefit your academic/professional development? (File name: LastNameFirstInitialLabs, e.g. MillerLLabs.pdf) The file name should be included as a header or footer in each page of the document. For guidance on how to write a cover letter, refer to the information in this link:

http://hwpi.harvard.edu/files/ocs/files/masters_resume_cover_letters.pdf

One Letter of Recommendation from a professor who knows you well, addressing your independence, aptitude and academic performance. The letter should be on institute letterhead, signed, scanned, and emailed directly from the referee (professor) to armeniseharvardfdnsummer@hms.harvard.edu in a pdf file.  (File name: LastNameFirstInitialofStudentfromReferee, e.g. MillerLfromCorsi.pdf)

SELECTION PROCESS & AWARD NOTIFICATION

Applicants will be notified of the results of the initial selection process by the second half of January, 2021. Semi-finalists will be invited for a Skype or Zoom interview with the selection committee on Saturday, January 30, 2021. Decision notification will be sent to all interviewees by mid-February.

HMS LABORATORIES & AFFILIATED HOSPITALS

We encourage you to seek laboratory opportunities on the Harvard Medical School campus (the first seven links) but also included here are laboratories at Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Please refer to this list:

http://bcmp.med.harvard.edu/

http://cellbio.med.harvard.edu/

http://genetics.med.harvard.edu/

https://immunology.hms.harvard.edu/

https://micro.hms.harvard.edu/

http://neuro.med.harvard.edu/

http://sysbio.med.harvard.edu/

https://hscrb.harvard.edu/Research

http://www.childrenshospital.org/research/

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/research/

http://www.bidmc.org/Research.aspx

http://www.dana-farber.org/Research/Lab-Websites.aspx

https://www.massgeneral.org/research/

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Visa Application Process: Information on the visa application process will be provided after acceptance into the program. Applications for a visa from students enrolled in an Italian university who are permanent residents of Italy (non-Italian citizens who do not hold Italian passports, but have “permesso di soggiorno” status) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Exchange students at Italian universities are not eligible.

As part of the visa application process, fellows will require evidence of personal financial resources to support their time at Harvard, i.e. a bank statement demonstrating that the fellow and/or their parents have funds of at least USD 2,000.

Cost of Living: Boston is an expensive city. Consequently, the fellowship payment of 2,700 Euros will not cover 100% of the Fellows’ expenses incurred during their stay in Boston.

Housing: information on accommodation in Boston will be provided after acceptance into the program. Housing costs in Boston have increased greatly over the past several years.

Lab Placement: Fellows will receive guidance in applying for an internship to the labs.

Career Development Seminars: as part of the program, Fellows are expected to attend weekly Career Development seminars and workshops where they will meet Italian scientists and faculty in Boston to discuss education and career choices.

Research: the fellowship experience will culminate in Research Day, an event that provides fellows with the opportunity to share their summers’ lab work with their PIs, lab members, and the entire Summer Fellows community.

Final Report: at the conclusion of the fellowship, Fellows will be required to submit a final report reflecting on their overall fellowship experience and scientific achievements gained during the summer.

[1] (a) Applications from students enrolled in an Italian university who are permanent residents of Italy (but non-Italian citizens) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. (b) Exchange students at Italian universities are not eligible.

For inquiries related to the Summer Fellows program or application process, please contact: