Otolaryngology Undergraduate Research Program

The Mayo Clinic Otolaryngology Undergraduate Research Program is a 10-week paid internship for undergraduate students who are interested in careers in medicine or science and are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine.

The Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery offers students the opportunity to see many different career paths in medicine and tailor the experience to their specific interests. Participants gain exposure to the field through activities such as:

  • Participating in an introductory research boot camp
  • Receiving an introduction to clinical and surgical patient care
  • Completing education on health care disparities
  • Attending resident lectures, Grand Rounds and other teaching sessions
  • Assisting in a basic science lab
  • Following audiologists or speech and language pathologists as they assess and care for patients
  • Learning from the department's talented nurses and physician assistants
  • Shadowing surgeons interacting with patients in the clinic or operating room one or two days a week

During the program, students are paired with both faculty and resident mentors on dedicated research projects. Students meet with their mentors weekly and actively engage in the research process. During the final week of the program, students give presentations of their work on the research project, and mentors help students update their resumes to highlight the work completed.

A major goal of the program is to help students create competitive applications for their postgraduate education programs of choice. Faculty and resident mentors identify opportunities to submit research projects to regional or national conferences, and the program provides funding for students to attend and present their work. In addition, the program provides funding for tutoring or exam preparation for entrance exams required for postgraduate education. This funding is available for one calendar year after the start of the program.


The Mayo Clinic Otolaryngology Undergraduate Research Program is available for college students, preferably those between their third and fourth years of school. Candidates must be from a group that is underrepresented in medicine — such as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander — or must demonstrate a significant financially or educationally disadvantaged background.

Candidates are required to submit a one-page personal statement highlighting their interest in the program along with one letter of recommendation and a current college transcript. Students are asked to include information regarding their status as a member of an underrepresented group in the personal statement.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have completed one year of college. Preference is given to those in their junior or third year.
  • Be currently enrolled or returning in the fall semester.
  • Be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Commit to the program for the full duration of 10 weeks.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, refugee or asylee. F-1, J-1, EAD and OPT authorizations are not accepted. No exceptions are allowed.
  • Complete background checks and screens prior to start date.
  • Complete a Post-Offer Placement Assessment (POPA) urinalysis drug screen, physical history review, vaccination record review, and tuberculosis skin test at least 10 business days prior to the program start date.

We have completed our application process for 2021 and are no longer accepting applications. Please check back in the fall of 2021 for information on our next application cycle. The program is 10 weeks long and runs from June through August.


For more information, contact:

Jessica M. O'Neill

  • Research Program Coordinator
  • Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery
  • Mayo Clinic
    Gonda Building, 12th Floor
    200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 507-293-0871
  • Email: oneill.jessica@mayo.edu