The students pursue full-time laboratory research during the nine-week period. Each student works in direct connection with faculty mentors as well as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the lab. At least one senior student or postdoc is assigned to supervise each student on a daily basis. Each student participates in one summer project with a clearly defined and attainable objective. Typically, summer projects are designed such that students can work with a high degree of independence while leveraging from other ongoing research in the host lab. In general, a student spends approximately 50% of his or her time in the lab and the other 50% in the office writing, reading, and analyzing data.
By conducting hands-on experiments, students learn about cutting-edge engineering and technologies applicable to biomedical problems. Equally important, they learn about multidisciplinary research, how it is organized and conducted, and how to communicate with members of a research team with very diverse backgrounds. Students also learn how to think about their problem creatively and how to proactively pursue their research objectives by seeking help from experts, trying out new approaches, developing skills to delve deeper into problems, documenting their efforts, writing up their work for papers and patents, and other strategies. Summer students prepare weekly summaries of their research progress for discussion with their mentor and other lab members during group meetings.