Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program

  • Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program

    A 10-week faculty-mentored residential summer research program for undergraduates in biotechnology.

  • Scholarly Dinner Series

    Weekly academic seminars and workshops, including journal club, faculty round tables, and graduate school preparation.

  • Faculty Lectures

    As part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Village, attend faculty lectures and learn about cutting-edge research on campus.

  • Pre-Professional Development

    Seminars and workshops on "What you can do with a PhD," graduate school funding, guest speakers from industry, and more.

  • Social Engagement Activities

    Events throughout the summer to promote community. Examples include a boat cruise, Red Sox game, & social w/MIT Amgen Scholars.

  • National Amgen Symposium @UCLA

    While at the National Amgen Symposium, discuss research with UCLA faculty, attend a graduate school fair, and tour Amgen labs.

  • Oral & Poster Presentations

    Amgen Scholars present their research to faculty and peers at the conclusion of the Program.

What is the Amgen Scholars Program?

The Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard is a 10-week faculty-mentored residential summer research program for undergraduates in biotechnology. Amgen Scholars will be paired with world-renowned faculty mentors and a director supervisor (postdoctoral scholar or graduate student) in the laboratory, following an interview selection process. Faculty mentors will be selected from the following Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Departments and Institutes: Wyss Institute, Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB), Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), as well as faculty from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and the Broad Institute. Throughout the duration of the program, Amgen Scholars will conduct hands-on, innovative research across biotechnology fields in cutting-edge facilities at Harvard. While participating in the program, Amgen Scholars will reside in one of Harvard’s historic River Houses as active members of Harvard’s Summer Undergraduate Research Village community. In addition to research, Amgen Scholars will participate in a number of intellectual, pre-professional development, and social activities throughout the program.

Program Description

Amgen Scholars at Harvard will participate in a full-time 10-week residential summer research program, where they will be paired with faculty hosts. In addition to research, the Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard believes in a three-dimensional approach that includes a variety of pre-professional development, scholarly development, and social engagement activities to encompass a dynamic, holistic process for training the next generation of scientists.

The Amgen Scholars Program features:       

  • Pre-Professional Development
    •  Seminars and workshops on:
      ◦       Effective Science Communication
      ◦       Funding Opportunities for Graduate Education
      ◦       Graduate School Preparation
      ◦       Career Opportunities in Academia and Industry
      ◦       Introduction to Entrepreneurship   

  • Scholarly Development
    ◦       Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series
    ◦       Biotechnology Journal Club
    ◦       Research Integrity Training
    ◦       Oral Presentation
    ◦       Biotechnology Symposium in Los Angeles, CA sponsored by the Amgen Foundation

  • Social Engagement Activities
    ◦       Exploring Boston & Cambridge
    ◦       Networking with participants with the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village
    ◦       Informal gatherings with graduate student mentors
    ◦       Scholar-initiated events

2015 Harvard-Amgen Scholars

Please click the photo below to learn more about the 2015 Harvard-Amgen Scholars. 

                                              

Eligibility and Requirements

Eligibility

The Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard selects undergraduates with high academic success, research interests in the biotechnology fields, and commitment to the pursuit of a career in science.

Amgen Scholars applicants must meet the following criteria: 

    • U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents
    • Undergraduate students enrolled in accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States, Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories
    • Sophomores (with four quarters or three semesters of college experience), juniors or non-graduating seniors (who are returning in the fall to continue undergraduate studies).

Applicants must also have:

    • A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or above (on a 4.0 scale)
    • An interest in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

The program especially encourages applications from individuals who come from groups traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields – African American/Black, Chicano/Latino/Hispanic, Puerto Rican, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, women, and those with disabilities – as well as individuals who come from rural or inner-city areas and individuals whose backgrounds and experiences would bring diversity to the biotechnology fields.

Previous research experience is not a requirement for participation in the program.

Requirements

Harvard-Amgen Scholars are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

    • Participate fully for 10 contiguous weeks (June 6 - August 12, 2016) in the Amgen Scholars Program. Amgen Scholars cannot take courses or hold a job throughout the duration of the program. Amgen Scholars must be present for the entirety of the program
    • Live on campus in one of Harvard’s historic River Houses in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village
    • Participate fully in the laboratory culture of the research group, including lab meetings or other gatherings
    • Attend all required seminars, workshops, weekly activities, and social events
    • Attend the Amgen Scholars National Symposium in July at UCLA
    • Present summer research project at final oral presentation
    • Complete pre- and post-program surveys

Faculty Profiles

The Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program collaborates with faculty across the university. Applicants should select up to three potential faculty hosts from the departments, institutes, and schools listed below. It is not necessary for applicants to the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program to reach out to faculty independently. Applicants selected as finalists for the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program will be connected with potential faculty hosts by the Amgen Scholars Program staff. Please look carefully at the faculty profiles to determine up to three potential faculty hosts with biotechnology-based projects that you are interested in participating in during the summer program.   

Wyss Institute
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Physics
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Division of Medical Sciences
Broad Institute (must have Harvard faculty appointment)

If you have questions about faculty hosts or their Harvard appointments, please contact the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program (amgenscholars@harvard.edu).

Award Benefits

Amgen Scholars receive the following benefits:

  • Stipend in the amount of $4,000, which will be paid in two installments at the beginning and the mid-point of the program
  • Meal Allowance in the amount of $500 paid at the beginning of the program
  • Housing at one of the historic residential River Houses of Harvard
  • Travel Costs for non-Harvard students traveling to/from Boston, MA
  • Amgen Scholars Symposium at UCLA travel costs to/from Los Angeles, CA and symposium food and lodging are provided
  • Additional Benefits include access to athletic and recreational facilities, Harvard’s libraries, and on campus activities, such as presentations, lectures, performances, and much more!

How to Apply - Deadline February 1, 2016

HARVARD-AMGEN SCHOLAR PROGRAM APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:

Are you an ambitious, enthusiastic undergraduate who wants to explore biotechnology research in a Harvard-affiliated lab full-time for ten weeks in the summer, and live among our community of research scholars?  Follow these simple steps to submit an application for Summer 2016.

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 5:00pm EST, February 1, 2016.  INCOMPLETE OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

_________________________________________________________________________________

 STEP 1:  READ

Read the biotechnology research descriptions of potential faculty hosts carefully and determine up to three projects in which you’d like to participate.

STEP 2:  SOLICIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Two letters of recommendation are required. Download the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommender Instructions below. Send each of your two recommenders the instructions, which will guide recommenders on the topics we would like addressed in their letters of recommendation. We strongly encourage you have a conversation with your recommenders about your interest in the program, and share with them the responses to your essays, which will help inform them about what they could write. Letters should be submitted by recommenders via email to amgenscholars@harvard.edu, with your name and “Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommendation” in the subject line. Make sure to remind your recommenders to submit their letters before the February 1, 2016 deadline.

To download the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommender Instructions, please click the button below.


STEP 3:  PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS

A complete Harvard-Amgen Scholarship application consists of the following materials:

A) The completed Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program 2016 Application and Essay Form saved in .pdf format as "LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.PDF" 

The four essay questions are as follows:

    • Describe the research project that interests you most and articulate why it appeals to you. Focus on your principal choice, but include a paragraph at the end to briefly discuss your second and/or third choices. (1000 words)
    • What have you done academically to prepare for this particular experience? (500 words)
    • What are your academic/professional goals, and how do you see this opportunity supporting your trajectory as a scientist? (500 words)
    • How would you benefit from and contribute to the Amgen Scholar community of undergraduate biotechnology researchers? (500 words)

B) A .pdf copy of your unofficial transcript with coursework through Fall 2015 (you may either scan the transcript, or submit an unencrypted unofficial electronic version if offered by your institution) saved as "LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_TRANSCRIPT.PDF" Submitted transcripts must meet the following criteria: 

    • Include Fall 2015 Grades
    • Include Course Titles (course numbers not accepted)
    • Must NOT be encrypted
      • It is the responsibility of the applicant to find out if the electronic unofficial transcript is encrypted from their Registrar. An encrypted transcript (official or unofficial) will NOT be accepted and your application will be considered incomplete. 

 Please note that upon admittance to the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program, students will need to provide an official transcript. 

C) A recent copy of your resume saved in .pdf format as "LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_RESUME.PDF" 

To download the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program 2016 Application and Essay Form, please click the button below.

STEP 4:  REGISTER ONLINE

Complete the online registration information by clicking the link below. Please note that you may only register once for the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program 2016 Application. 


STEP 5:  SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS

Once you have completed the registration, follow the prompts to upload and submit your application materials (Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program 2016 Application and Essay Form, Official Transcript, and Resume) in .pdf format. You MUST click “Submit” after you have uploaded your materials. Documents not in .pdf format will not be accepted. Please note that if you are not ready to submit your application materials immediately following your online registration, you may go back to the materials submission website at a later time by clicking the link below.


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Your application is complete when you have fully responded to each of these five steps. After the deadline has passed and we have had the opportunity to initially evaluate the submitted applications, you will receive an email acknowledgement that you are being considered for the program. 

The selection process is quite thorough and comprised of three steps:  the first step examines basic eligibility and assigns a general rating to each application; the second step is focused more thoroughly on specific research interests and faculty host choices for the purpose of matching applicants to projects; and, the third step includes Skype interviews of finalists prior to final selection of Harvard-Amgen Scholars.

ALL APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE SELECTION RESULTS AFTER INTERVIEWS ARE COMPLETED, which we expect to happen in early to mid-March.  Please do not contact our office requesting the status of your application.

Information for Recommenders

HARVARD-AMGEN SCHOLARS PROGRAM LETTER WRITER INSTRUCTIONS

Please download the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommender Instructions below, which will guide you on the topics we would like addressed in your letters of recommendation. We strongly encourage the Harvard-Amgen Scholar applicant have a conversation with you about their interest in the program and their responses to the essay questions, which will help inform you about what to write in your letter. Please submit your letters of recommendation directly to the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program via email to amgenscholars@harvard.edu, with the applicant's name and “Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommendation” in the subject line. The deadline to submit letters of recommendation is February 1, 2016. Please contact us by email (amgenscholars@harvard.edu) or phone (617-496-6220) with any additional questions you may have.

To download the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommender Instructions, please click the button below.

FAQ

Application & Participation

What is the Amgen Scholars Program?

The Amgen Scholars Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in a hands-on research experience during a 10-week summer program at some of the world's leading institutions. There are 10 program sites throughout the U.S. You may apply to participate at multiple program sites.

For more information, please visit the Amgen Scholars website.

When is the application deadline for the Harvard-Amgen Program?

The application deadline for the Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard is 5:00pm EST, February 1, 2016.​

Can I apply to more than one Amgen Scholars Program site?

Yes. Eligible undergraduate students are welcome to apply to any or all of the Amgen Scholars Program sites. However, each Amgen Scholars Program site has its own application process and requirements.

Is there a common application for all Amgen Scholars sites?

No. Each of the 10 Amgen Scholars sites has their own application process.

I am an international student. Am I eligible?

No. You must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident undergraduate student currently enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territory.

I am not an underrepresented minority. Can I still apply?

Yes. The Amgen Scholars Program is open to students from all backgrounds. Applications are especially encouraged from students who are African American/Black, Chicano/Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Pacific Islander, women, and those with disabilities – as well as individuals who come from rural or inner-city areas and individuals whose backgrounds and experiences would bring diversity to the biotechnology fields.  

My Spring 2016 classes don't end until after the program starts.

Will I still be allowed to participate?

Students accepted into the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program are allowed to join us up to one week after the program has begun.​

I am graduating in Spring 2016. Am I eligible for the program?

No. In order to be eligible for the Summer 2016 Amgen Scholars Program, you must be returning in Fall 2016 to continue your studies as an undergraduate student to your four-year college or university.

I transferred from community college. Can I apply?

Yes. If you are enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university at the time of your application submission, you are eligible for the Amgen Scholars Program.​

Do I need previous research experience to apply?

No. Previous research experience is not required to participate in the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program. However, applicants should demonstrate a passionate interest in biotechnology research.

What are the essay length requirements?

Please see application instructions for information about essay content and length.

When will I know if I am accepted?

 Notifications for the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program will sent out by the beginning of April.​

Can I leave for a vacation during the program?

No. You are required to participate for the entire 10 weeks unless you must arrive after our start date (June 6, 2016) due to late Spring 2016 course schedules.

Can I work or take a summer class during the program?

No. The Amgen Scholars Program provides an opportunity for you to dedicate 100% of your time to the program. Since outside commitments detract from your summer research experience, part-time jobs, volunteerships, and taking summer courses are not permitted.

Will I be required to attend program events?

As an Amgen Scholar, you will be expected to attend all events and activities throughout the 10 weeks of the program.

Transcript

Are unofficial transcripts accepted?

Yes, we will accept scanned .pdf copies of unofficial transcripts. Submitted transcripts must meet the following criteria: 

    • Include Fall 2015 Grades
    • Include Course Titles (course numbers not accepted)
    • Must NOT be encrypted
      • It is the responsibility of the applicant to find out if the electronic unofficial transcript is encrypted from their Registrar. An encrypted transcript (official or unofficial) will NOT be accepted and your application will be considered incomplete. 

My GPA is on a 5.0 scale. How do I convert my GPA to 4.0 scale?

To convert a 5.0 GPA to a 4.0 GPA scale, divide your cumulative 5.0 GPA by 1.25.

How do I submit my transcript?

A scanned .PDF copy of your unofficial transcript can be submitted through our online submission portal. For more information, consult our application instructions.

I am a transfer student. Which transcript(s) should I submit?

Please submit your transcripts from the institution(s) you previously attended and from your current 4-year college or university (including Fall 2015 grades).

I do not have my grades yet from a study abroad program.

Can I apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?

Please submit a scanned .pdf of your most recent unofficial transcript. However, be mindful that we cannot consider applications unless they are complete, which includes a transcript with the Fall 2015 semester. Therefore, you will need to contact your study abroad program and your home institution to request a transcript with Fall 2015 grades. Please make sure to email our staff (amgenscholars@harvard.edu) to keep us updated on your situation.

What is the minimum GPA to be considered for the program?

You must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale to be eligible.

Recommendation Letters

How do I submit my letters of recommendation?

Please download the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommender Instructions below. Send each of your two recommenders the instructions, which will guide recommenders on the topics we would like addressed in their letters of recommendation. We strongly encourage you have a conversation with your recommenders about your interest in the program, and share with them the responses to your essays, which will help inform them about what they could write. Your letter writers will send letters of recommendation directly to the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program via email to amgenscholars@harvard.edu, with the applicant's name and “Harvard-Amgen Scholars Recommendation” in the subject line.

Whom should I ask to provide a letter of recommendation?

People who know you well and have experience working with you in a research setting, which may include faculty, principal investigators, or professors. It is preferable not to have both of your letters of recommendation from the same lab.

Do letters and applications need to submitted at the same time?

No. Supporting letters of recommendation can be submitted independently. We request that letter writers upload their letters directly to the program. Please be sure to follow up with your recommenders after submitting your application to confirm that they have submitted their letters.

I transferred. Can my letter come from my previous institution?

Yes. We will accept letters of recommendation from your previous school, particularly for recently transfer applicants.

Lab Selection

How many positions are available in the program at Harvard?

There are 20 positions in the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program.

How are lab placements made?

Applicants who have passed the initial rounds of selection based on eligibility criteria and specific research interest will move on to the final round of selection. Harvard Amgen Scholar Finalists will be interviewed by potential faculty lab hosts via Skype. Faculty hosts will make the final selection of Harvard-Amgen Scholars.

Will I be able to select a specific faculty to work at Harvard?

Harvard-Amgen Scholar applicants will select up to 3 faculty with whom they would like to work with during the summer program. After several rounds of application reviews, finalists will be interviewed by potential faculty lab hosts. Faculty hosts will make the final selection of Harvard-Amgen Scholars. Due to a number of variables, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your faculty host requests. The Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program will work closely with students and faculty to provide lab placements with good learning environments for summer program participants.

Should I contact potential faculty hosts?

It is not necessary for applicants to the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program to reach out to potential faculty hosts independently. Applicants selected as finalists for the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program will be connected with potential faculty hosts by the Amgen Scholars Program staff. 

Someone at Harvard emailed me. Has the program accepted me?

An email from the Program Manager or a potential faculty host does not guarantee acceptance into our program. This is a preliminary step in the selection process, and your application must pass through several more rounds before we can officially offer you a position in the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program.

I am a student currently doing research with Harvard faculty.

May I continue that research in summer 2016 as an Amgen Scholar?

The Amgen Scholars Program supports faculty-student collaborations in biotechnology fields. If your current research project is biotechnology-based, it is possible that you may be able to continue that research as an Amgen Scholar. However, given the volume of applications we expect to receive, it is not a certainty that we will be able to accommodate your request based on this criterion alone.

Accommodations

Is air travel to and from Cambridge, MA provided?

Yes. We will book and pay for your flight to and from Cambridge, MA through our office. For participants who plan to drive, mileage is reimbursed at a rate of approximately $0.575/mile up to the cost of a roundtrip flight from your originating destination (whichever may be less). 

What type of housing is offered?

Amgen Scholars will live in one of the historic residential River Houses of Harvard in single or double accommodations.

Are meals provided?

Daily meals are not provided. However, a meal allowance of $500 will be provided at the beginning of the program. In addition, some group meals will take place in conjunction with Amgen Scholar activities.

How much is the stipend?

The stipend amount is $4000, which will be paid in two installments at the beginning and the mid-point of the program.

Am I required to live in the specified program housing?

Yes. All participants (including Harvard students) are required to live in the designated campus housing.

Will I have a roommate?

Possibly. Amgen Scholars will be housed in a cluster among the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village in suite combinations.

Contact Us

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Cammi Valdez
Program Manager, Harvard Amgen Scholars Program
Assistant Director, Undergraduate Research

Lisa Gole
Staff Assistant, Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program

Gregory Llacer

Program Director, Harvard Amgen Scholars Program
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships

Phone: 617-496-6220
Email: amgenscholars@harvard.edu