Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply to the HEART Program?
To participate in the HEART Program, you must:

  • Be a documented U.S. citizen, non-citizen U.S. national, or permanent resident in possession of an alien registration receipt card (I-551) at the time of application. International citizens studying in the United States with an F-1 Visa, individuals seeking asylum, and refugees are not eligible.
  • Demonstrate an interest in pursuing both science and medicine. In addition to research, this might include clinical volunteering, shadowing, taking care of a loved one, virtual mental health support, etc.
  • Be in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Have completed at least two years of undergraduate education by the start of the summer program, and have at least one semester remaining of your undergraduate education by the start of the summer program.
  • Have completed at least one summer or semester of research experience.

We are unable to accommodate any exceptions to these criteria. Students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine—broadly defined—are especially encouraged to apply.

How and when will I be notified of the admissions decision?
Admitted students will be notified by early spring.

What funding do Program Scholars receive?
Scholars will receive a competitive stipend, travel reimbursement (up to $600 for flights), and housing in a dormitory near the HMS campus in Boston, MA. Scholars are required to have health insurance as per Massachusetts State Law. Please see the SHURP website for additional information.  

What is the expected time commitment of the HEART Program?
The dates of the program are May 31st to August 9th, 2023. Scholars will be able to move into their dorms beginning on May 28th. The HEART Program is time intensive, and Scholars are expected to work on research full time (approximately 9am-5pm every day, unless otherwise arranged with the Scholar's research mentor). One afternoon biweekly will be replaced with clinical activities (pending status of COVID-19 restrictions). In addition to research and clinic, the HEART Program curriculum includes mentoring meetings, seminars, and social events, which may carry into the evenings.

Why is previous research required?
In our inaugural year, we ask for rising juniors & seniors to have 1 semester or summer of research to ensure they have a productive summer with adequate mentorship - in the future, we hope to expand the scope of our program to students totally new to research. Stay tuned!

What research areas are available to Program Scholars?
Program Scholars can train in the basic, social, translational, or computational sciences at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Considerable emphasis is placed on matching students with labs or research groups that suit their research interests.

What if I am not eligible or ready to apply to the HEART Program?
You can find a list of other MD-PhD-focused summer programs here.

Who can I contact with additional questions?
Our email address is Please feel free to reach out at any time. We look forward to hearing from you!