Summer Undergraduate Program in Biomedical Ethics Research

Past Summer Undergraduate Program students at Mayo Clinic

Past students of the Summer Undergraduate Program are, from left to right: Paolo (Paco) Abiad, Carolyn Chow, Anna Jones, Seeley Yoo and Sydney Phu.

The Summer Undergraduate Program in Biomedical Ethics Research provides students with a mentored research experience that assists them in preparing for careers in health care, science, law or bioethics.

Students in the summer program develop research skills that include empirical research methods, study design, data collection and analysis, and scholarly writing, and learn how to apply these skills to bioethics research. Students also develop professional skills and gain a familiarity with current and seminal topics in bioethics and timely ethical issues in the health care setting.

Students are expected to dedicate 40 hours a week to a combination of research and educational activities. Each student is placed with a faculty mentor to work on a particular ethics research project for about 10 weeks starting in late May or early June.

In addition to conducting mentored research, students participate in a biomedical ethics education curriculum led by expert faculty in a small group, discussion-based setting. Clinical and nonclinical researchers lead these weekly discussions.


To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Students must have the authorization to work and remain in the United States without Mayo Clinic visa sponsorship. All students must pass a background check and a post-offer placement assessment before their start date.

The successful applicants must be:

  • Committed to pursuing a career in which they plan to engage in topics in biomedical ethics.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Skilled in written and oral communication.
  • Highly motivated to learn new research methods.

Application process

To apply, visit the Mayo Clinic jobs website. Search for job posting 189595BR (undergraduate intern) or 189598BR (graduating college seniors) and follow the directions in the job posting.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. CST on Jan. 16, 2023.

Candidates must attach these documents to their online application:

  • Cover letter describing career goals and how biomedical ethics research relates to those goals.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that includes your major, relevant coursework, honors and related experiences.
  • A five- to 10-page writing sample, such as a course paper, preferably on a topic in biomedical ethics.
  • Current, unofficial college transcript.
  • Two letters of recommendation from research mentors or undergraduate professors addressed to program director Richard Sharp, Ph.D., and emailed by them to

Top applicants will be invited to participate in a brief phone interview to discuss specific skills and areas of interest.

If you are not able to spend a full 10 weeks in Rochester, Minnesota, or are interested in opportunities at our Arizona or Florida campuses, please describe this in your cover letter. Remote or hybrid positions might be possible for well-qualified applicants.


For more information or if you have specific questions, contact our education staff at 507-538-1433 or email us.


Why should I study and research biomedical ethics at Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic frequently ranks as one of the top hospitals in the United States. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with nationally and internationally recognized physicians and scholars and to gain hands-on experience with clinically relevant research at a major medical institution.

Is this a paid position?

Yes. The pay rate is determined annually by the Human Resources Department at Mayo Clinic and is included in the job posting.

Does the program provide housing?

The program doesn't provide housing. However, affordable accommodations are available within walking distance of the campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

How will I get to work?

Most students live within walking distance of our office. For those who live farther away, Rochester has a reliable public transit system that many Mayo Clinic employees use to commute.

Bio Ethics Summer Interns 2019