The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) began as an idea among Native American students attending Harvard Medical School (HMS). With the help of a few devoted medical school faculty, the program was launched in 1994 with the successful enrollment of 6 students for the first summer. We are now in our 15th year, and have brought nearly 150 students to HMS during this time.
Our vision is simple ... that a handful of talented individuals will leave Harvard Medical School with new skills, experiences, and knowledge that can be used to help themselves, their communities, and future generations of Native peoples from all of the Four Directions.
The focus of activity during the summer is participation in a basic science research project. Students are assigned a medical school faculty mentor who will work closely with the student to ensure completion of a project over the 8-week summer period. Additional program goals include:
- Experience cutting edge research at a leading medical school
- Understand the medical school application process
- Exposure to Native American health care issues
- Integrate Native traditions including talking circles
- Networking with Native American students and faculty
We are looking for students with a demonstrated commitment to the health of Native American communities, and evidence of motivation to achieve the highest goals possible. This does not require the highest grades (we do not request transcripts) or the most extensive research background (previous research experience is not required).
We do require the following:
- Minimum 1 year of undergraduate studies completed prior to start of program (June 2009)
- Demonstrated interest in careers in medical sciences
- At least 1 introductory science course (can include biology or chemistry)
- NOT taking the August MCAT (the time constraints of the program do not allow adequate time for studying for this important exam