Summer Fellowships: how to apply
The Summer Fellowship program consists of a two-part (or two-step) application process: First, a candidate must apply and gain acceptance into the Summer Fellowship program; second, once accepted, Fellows must apply and get accepted into a Harvard host lab. During this time, Fellows receive guidance in the lab application process, but they are responsible to contact the PI and request a lab placement.
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 26 – August 31, 2023.
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.
- 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 (i.e. students who moved to Italy to attend school only) 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 2023. We will, however, continue to monitor any public health related issues 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 ten 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. Key elements of your application are: demonstration of maturity, ability to articulate why you want to spend the summer in one of the labs chosen, and how this experience could benefit your career path.
This program is under the Patronage of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.
Students enrolled in an Italian public or private university  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 31, 2023 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.
Successful applicants will be awarded a fellowship payment of USD 4,000 intended to help with costs associated with travel to Boston, housing during the fellowship, health insurance, visa application fees, and incidentals. The fellowship payment will occur as reimbursement at the end of the program so fellows should plan their summer finances accordingly. Please be aware that the amount of the fellowship stipend is NOT sufficient to cover the total cost of living in Boston for two months. Based on the experience of past awardees, consider a total cost of approximately USD 6,000. NB: Only for students who are receiving fellowship payments directly from the Armenise Foundation, a portion of the fellowship will be withheld for U.S. income taxes; per the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, taxes will be withheld from payments processed through Harvard. However, this withholding may be returned when personal U.S. income tax returns are filed after January 1 the following year. Fellows who receive fellowship funding from an Italian institution are not subject to U.S. income tax withholding.
Fellowships in the past have been sponsored by the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation, Alira Health, Charles River Laboratories, Collegio Ghislieri, Collegio Nuovo, Fondazione Ospedale Alba-Bra Onlus, 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.
The Summer 2023 Call for Applications is now open. The deadline for submitting applications and a letter of reference is December 15, 2022. Applications and a letter of reference submitted after 11:59 pm EST on December 15, 2022 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:
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:
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:
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. Do not include an introductory paragraph in this statement – simply provide the requested information.
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. To help guide your lab research, feel free to contact the labs to gain an understanding of their current research activities and the potential projects a student intern might work on. Your lab statement should represent your research interests and the ranking order you indicate will be used to place you. We highly encourage you to do your own research and reach out to the labs in advance to learn their latest research projects. 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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 end of January, 2023. Semi-finalists will be invited for a Zoom interview with the selection committee on Saturday, February 4, 2023. Decision notification will be sent to all interviewees by mid-February.
Reminder: The Summer Fellowship program consists of a two-part (or two-step) application process: First, a candidate must apply and gain acceptance into the Summer Fellowship program; second, once accepted, Fellows must apply and get accepted into a Harvard host lab. During this time, Fellows receive guidance in the lab application process, but they are responsible to contact the PI and request a lab placement.
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:
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 (i.e. students who moved to Italy to attend school only) 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 $2,000 USD.
There are costs associated with obtaining a visa, including a visa fee, a SEVIS fee, and health insurance. These fees can be reimbursed as part of the fellowship payment of 4,000 USD, but not until after completion of the summer program.
Cost of Living: Boston is ranked as one of the top 5 most expensive cities in the U.S. The amount of the fellowship stipend is not sufficient to cover the total cost of living in Boston for two months. Based on the experience of past awardees, consider a total cost of approximately USD 6,000 USD. Expect monthly expenses to include: metro pass (~ USD90); housing (~USD1,500/for a room in a shared house); groceries (~USD500). Fellows should also budget for entertainment, travel, and personal effects.
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: Once accepted into the Armenise Harvard Summer Fellowship Program, Summer Fellows are responsible for finding a placement in a host lab, i.e. contacting the lab, setting up an interview, etc. The Summer Fellow will receive guidance from the Summer Fellows Director in applying for an internship to the labs. We highly encourage candidates to contact their first choice lab in order to have an idea of possible research projects that they could work on, and availability.
Career Development Seminars: Fellows are required to attend weekly Career Development seminars and workshops where they will meet scientists and faculty based in Boston or in Europe to discuss education and career choices. These weekly sessions are an integral and significant component of the fellowship program. Active and engaged attendance and participation is mandatory to earn the Certificate of Completion.
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 & Evaluation: 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. The final report is due on August 30, 2023, the day before Research Day. At the conclusion of Research Day presentations, Fellows will receive a Summer Fellowship Program Certificate of Completion. Failure to submit a final report on August 30, 2023 will result in forfeiting the Certificate of Completion. An evaluation of the program via an online survey is required within ten days upon completion of the fellowship.
 (a) Applications from students enrolled in an Italian university who are permanent residents of Italy (but non-Italian citizens) will be evaluated a case-by-case basis. (b) Exchange students (i.e. students who moved to Italy to attend school only) at Italian universities are not eligible.
For inquiries related to the Summer Fellows program or application process, please contact: