Neuroscience Summer Student Program

Applications for the 2024 program are now closed.

The UW Medicine Department of Neuroscience Summer Student Program provides “Bench to Bedside” exposure in the field of neurosciences.

Established in 2008 by Richard G. Ellenbogen, M.D., Professor and Chair of the UW Department of Neurological Surgery, the program provides students seeking summer lab placements the opportunity to explore basic and clinical neurosciences. 

Our hope is that students will be so excited by their work that they will desire to pursue an academic career in research and/or medicine.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to recruit and educate a wide spectrum of students from diverse backgrounds, focusing on those under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and broaden their knowledge base in the field of biomedical research, including translational, clinical and basic research; and to inspire students to pursue a career in research, medicine or allied fields, especially in Neuroscience.

We are proud to announce that the program has recently received NIH support.

Participation Includes:

  • Eight week lab placement in one of our neuroscience labs
  • Neurological surgery OR observations
  • Neurological surgery clinical observations
  • Weekly Neurological Surgery Grand Round Lectures
  • Weekly Neuroscience Faculty Lectures
  • Weekly Neurological Surgery Resident Education Hour discussions
  • Student presentation of individual program focus
  • Stipends are set by the NIH at $3,200 over 8 weeks for college students and $2,667 for high school students. (Note: high school or recent high school graduates must be 18 years of age or older to participate.) Program sponsored housing is available for 3-4 out of area students.

Every year our department invites a group of talented and highly motivated students interested in Neurosciences to participate in our 8-week Neurological Surgery Summer Student Program. This consists of a lab placement, attendance at Neurological Surgery Grand Rounds, OR observations, Friday talks by faculty to this group, and a final student PowerPoint presentation and graduation in front of family, friends and mentors. Founded in 2008, the program has placed 171 high school and college undergraduate students (including 9 Rainier Scholars) age 18 and older from 90 different schools in the program. We have had over 1500 applicants from 43 states and territories. Students have participated in 20 different laboratories hosted by 24 faculty members. They have attended over 148 unique Neurological Surgery Grand Rounds presentations and observed over 500 surgical procedures and clinical shadowing opportunities by following 23 different attending neurological surgeons and 2 different neuro-hospitalists at three different UW-affiliated hospitals. Students have also participated in 92 weekly student group presentations by 27 different faculty members. Although still a very young program, over 25 students from earlier classes have gone on to neuroscience, medical school, or Ph.D. neuroscience programs. We actively encourage students of color and limited means to participate and are proud to be an intern site for the Rainier Scholars program.

Tentative Summer 2025 Dates

  • Applications Open: 11/1/2024
  • Applications Deadline: 1/1/2025
  • Admissions Notification: 3/1/2025 – 3/15/2025
  • Program-Sponsored Housing Check-In: 6/22/2025
  • Program Orientation: 6/23/2025
  • Program Start Date: 6/23/2025
  • Program End Date: 8/15/2025
  • Program-Sponsored Housing Check-Out: 8/16/2025

2024 NSSSP Program Stats

  • Number of applications: 542
  • Number of students accepted: 12
  • Average GPA of accepted students: 3.92
  • Number of states from which applicants applied: 42


Map depicting states wherein students applied to the UW neurosurgery program


For general inquiries, please email

For website or technical issues, please email

NIH Logo

The UW NeuroscienceSummer Student Program is proud to be supported by grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH).