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About the Fellowship

How does the program work? Summer Research Fellows are each assigned to a mentor. The mentor may be a health or research professional from any department in our health system. Under the mentor's guidance, and with the help of Department of Research support staff, Fellows will complete a research project. At the end of the summer, Fellows present their findings in a PowerPoint at a noon conference attended by staff, Fellowship benefactors, and invited friends and family. Project results are commonly submitted for presentation at regional and national conferences, and the project abstracts are often published in conference proceedings.

What do Summer Research Fellows do? In the first week or so, fellows usually do a fair amount of searching the literature to acquaint themselves with the chosen topic before beginning the real work. What you do after that depends upon the project your mentor has chosen for you. Past Fellows have collected data from paper and electronic patient medical records, administered and analyzed surveys, and analyzed social media to perform content analysis.

Do I get to choose my area of research? While you will be asked to express your preferences, placement will depend upon mentor availability, your completion of relevant classes, and your interview. Past Fellows have worked in obstetrics & gynecology, general surgery, bariatric surgery, cardiology, hematology-oncology, radiology, community & preventive care services, nursing, bereavement & advance care planning services, and neurosurgery, to name some of the most popular areas.

I'm accepted/thinking of applying to medical school. Will I be able to shadow physicians in various specialties? Yes, subject to scheduling availability, Fellows are allowed a maximum of one (1) shadow experience per week.

Who should apply? Eligible candidates must:

  • have junior standing in college by the end of the spring semester of the program year
  • have a grade point average of at least 3.2
  • have an interest in pursuing careers in healthcare or translational research

Any person that meets the eligibility standards listed above is encouraged to apply; each application will be weighted equally regardless of University/College attended, organization affiliation, legacy status or current association with Gundersen Health System, Gundersen Medical Foundation or any current or past employees of the named entities.

How do I apply? Each year, usually in early fall, the online application for Summer Research Fellow positions for the following year are posted as temporary positions on Gundersen Health System's Careers page. To complete the application, you will need to have a copy of your transcript and letter of recommendation sent to the Research Manager.

You will also be asked to write and submit a brief goals statement along with a detailed resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Online applications are due in mid-January, with all supplemental materials (transcript, goals statement, resume/CV, letter of recommendation) to be postmarked by the application due date. Please consult the online application when it is posted for exact due dates.

When will applicants be notified? We will begin setting up interviews in January with final selection to be made by the end of February.

On average, around 50% of applicants are invited for an interview with the Summer Fellows program team and of those about 50% are offered positions; an interview is not a guarantee of selection.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Reece Rykal at or (608) 775-2674.

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