Harvard Medical School: Summer Institute in Biomedical Informatics, Applications Now Open


Harvard Medical School: Summer Institute in Biomedical Informatics

Apply November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

At a Glance

The Summer Institute in Biomedical Informatics, now entering its 15th year, is for undergraduates with quantitative interests and skills who aspire to contribute to translational advances in biomedicine with a future PhD or research-oriented MD or MD/PhD.


Features of the program include:

  • Nine weeks long, June 9 – August 10, 2019
  • Applications accepted November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019
  • Based in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) at Harvard Medical School (HMS)
  • Located in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston
  • Curriculum includes didactic lectures, clinical case studies, and communications tutorials
  • Mentored research projects and presentation of findings
  • Carefully matched faculty mentors from HMS (including HMS teaching hospitals) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Academic and career guidance
  • Peer networks for group learning and social events
  • Opportunities to meet program alumni and top bioinformatics researchers in industry and academia
  • Near-campus housing at Northeastern University in air-conditioned singles
  • Summer stipend (totalling approximately $4000)
  • Travel allowance (up to $300)
  • Rolling admissions, if necessary application review will be expedited


In the decades ahead, the pace of biomedical discovery will continue to accelerate. The state of an individual will be characterized with increasing precision from the molecular level to genomic parameters to the organ level and for interactions with medications, nutrients, the microbiome, therapeutic devices, and the environment. The size and complexity of high-dimensional characterization of patients will lead to far more complex diagnostic and prognostic categories than are currently in use. The multivariate descriptors of large populations will allow stratification of kinds only seen in the most recent genomically-informed clinical trials. Complex, but empirically validated, algorithms will be embedded in electronic health record systems as decision support tools to assist in everyday patient care. Those management algorithms will evolve and be modified continuously based on inputs from ongoing clinical experience and from new research. Whether developing basic computational methods, modeling molecular mechanisms, or engineering new clinical applications, students with a quantitative orientation and love of data analytics will be the future engineers of innovation in biomedicine.

If you are an undergraduate with a strong quantitative background and interested in innovation and methodological rigor in your approach to scientific inquiry in biomedicine or in the translation of computational methods to engineering/software applications in medicine, this is the summer program for you.

Please note that this is not a program for students seeking a summer research experience in order to enhance your competitiveness for entry to medical school.


The Summer Institute is currently sponsored by the NIH-funded BD2K (Big Data to Knowledge) program and is fully based at the HMS Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI). Begun in 2005, it was previously also known as the Summer Scholars in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (Summer BIG) and the Harvard–MIT/HST Summer Bioinformatics Program.

DBMI gratefully acknowledges the role its partners at the Harvard–MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology have played in sustaining this successful program for its first 13 years.

Check out their website for more information!

Contact Jane Byrnes, our Health Professions Advisor, or BMIsummer@hms.harvard.edu with any questions.

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