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Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Students

St. Jude has opportunities for selected undergraduate students in both international and domestic educational programs to study under the direction of a faculty mentor. These can be either established programs or an individual program of study.

Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program

The Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program offers funded predoctoral internships in laboratory or clinical research for some of the country’s top students preparing for careers in the biomedical sciences, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, or public health. A primary goal of the program is to encourage students to pursue a career in cancer research. Trainees are matched with a faculty mentor who shares their research interests, and attend a core lecture series designed specifically for them, as well as other weekly St. Jude conferences.

Learn more about the Pediatric Education (POE) Program >

Experiential Learning Internships

We believe in the power of learning by doing. Our experiential learning internships offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to perform hands-on research at St. Jude in an environment that is structured to support our interns’ learning goals. Interns gain experience, reflect on what they’ve learned and apply new knowledge and skills throughout their internship experience. Along the way, faculty advisors work closely with each intern and provide reviews and assessments to help identify opportunities for further growth.

International Students 

International undergraduate students come from institutions outside of the U.S. and perform their research at St. Jude under the guidance of a St. Jude faculty mentor. Degrees are granted by the scholar’s home institution. Students must have already been formally accepted into a program and must adhere to the regulations and requirements of that program.

Rhodes College  

Rhodes and St. Jude work together to offer qualified students an intensive research experience that matches students and faculty scientists to work together over a period of two summers and intervening academic year. Through this experience, students become fully engaged in the scientific community at a world-class clinical and research facility. Students work on independent research projects, participate in lectures, group meetings, and onsite discussions, and present their work at local, national, and international venues. Many of the Rhodes students go on to pursue advanced degrees in medical, scientific, or other professional fields as a result of their experience at St. Jude. See student profiles at the bottom of the page.

For more information, visit Rhodes College website.

University of Bath Research Internships

The University of Bath is one of two sponsored foreign educational programs that affiliate with St. Jude. Students complete research internships at St. Jude over a year’s time. In return, students earn academic credit, a research stipend, and internship experience.

Learn more about University of Bath Internships >

Teddy Huerta

Teddy Huerta

Rhodes College, Class of 2015

Dr. Stacey Schultz-Cherry’s lab, Infectious Diseases

“My participation in the Summer Plus Program has been by far the most enriching and transformative experience of my undergraduate career. Though it’s evident that St. Jude has a highly respected reputation and offers its employees and patients incredible resources, what really sets St. Jude apart are the talented and passionate people who work here. To have the chance to learn from and work with scientists who are at the top of their fields and are motivated to mentor and help undergraduates succeed has been a privilege. From the dedicated mentoring that I’ve received from everyone in the Schultz-Cherry laboratory and the enormous support from Rhodes College and the Academic Programs Office, I have been able to begin to establish my own professional identity and develop a strong base of knowledge and research techniques that I will continue to utilize for the rest of my life. As an undergraduate, I never imagined that I would have so many chances to use state-of-the-art equipment, have so much individual freedom and responsibility over my own research project, and have so many opportunities to actively contribute to cutting-edge research. Through this experience, I have been able to discover and fuel my own passion for research and Infectious Diseases in a way that would not have been possible without the Summer Plus Program. All in all, my years at St. Jude have proved to be a time of intense personal and professional growth that has crystallized my love of science and learning due to the talented and driven scientists that I have had the opportunity to work alongside. I cannot wait to adapt the skills I have gained from the Summer Plus Program to help answer challenging questions in medical research in the future.”

Ross W. Hilliard, MD, Resident, General Internal Medicine

Ross W. Hilliard, MD

Resident, General Internal Medicine

The Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital

A past Rhodes Summer Plus participant, Ross Hilliard graduated from Rhodes College in 2007. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2011 with a Doctor of Medicine degree and is currently a resident in Internal Medicine at Brown University.

"My experience at St. Jude was one of the most formative of my time at Rhodes College. It gave me the chance not only to build skills in basic science research and more advanced techniques in structural biology, but also provided an opportunity to learn how to approach the ever growing, complex world of medical research. The three years I spent working at St. Jude have served as the foundation for research that I have been involved in both in Medical School and now in Residency. The partnership between Rhodes and St. Jude is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students, and I am still proud that I was able to take advantage of it."

Alexander Tong, MD/PhD Candidate

Alexander Tong, MD/PhD Candidate

Medical Scientist, Training Program-Case, Western Reserve University

Alex Tong graduated from Rhodes College in 2011 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. As an undergraduate, Alex was at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a Summer Plus Fellow and subsequently a Pediatric Oncology Education Fellow in the Taosheng Chen Lab, where he completed his Honors Research Thesis and fell in love with bench-to-bedside pediatric oncology research. He is currently working in the MD/PhD program at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

“The St. Jude Summer Plus Program was the opportunity of a lifetime for me to actively participate in and contribute to cutting edge scientific research as an undergraduate, at the earliest stages of my career. Through the program and the terrific mentors I worked with in the Chen Lab, I discovered that I didn’t have to settle for doing just the research or just the clinical practice, as St. Jude is a remarkable place where researchers can quite literally walk down the hallway to meet and be inspired by the patients whose very diseases they’re working on in the lab. I quickly realized I wanted to interweave both my basic science and clinical research interests, seeking to bridge the gap between the two worlds. Ultimately, my Summer Plus experience drove me to pursue training at Case Western’s MD/PhD program, where I am furthering my dream of performing the kind of bench-to-bedside pediatric cancer research for which St. Jude is world renowned, as well as my dream of giving hope to those courageous patients who are waiting for the cure.

I think the St. Jude Summer Plus Program really sets Rhodes apart in that its students have an unparalleled opportunity to receive mentorship from principal investigators at the top of their field. The program is also in close contact with the St. Jude Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program, so Rhodes students are generously invited to the Lunch & Learn lecture series and can network with other college, medical, and pharmacy students from across the nation. The way I see it, what better way is there to know whether this is the right career choice for you than to work with research mentors who are giants in the scientific world and to live, breath, and learn alongside fellow students who may someday be your professional colleagues? For me, the Summer Plus program inspired my decision to apply to dual degree graduate programs and built the foundation for my budding scientific career, and I hope it will continue to do the same for generations of Rhodes students to come.”

Riley Pace

Riley Pace

Christian Brothers University, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry student

Dr. Clinton Stewart’s lab

"My placement at St Jude has been the most valuable experience of my academic career to date, and has provided a foundation for further study and continuance in research. I enjoyed every minute of my placement and was still excited at the end by the caliber of research and the excellence of the facilities, as well as the friendliness and willingness to help of all the people at St Jude - it really is a unique and amazing place to work and learn!"

Lauren Gittings

Lauren Gittings

University of Bath, United Kingdom

Mentor: Dr. John Schuetz, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Lauren Gittings
University of Bath, United Kingdom; Mentor: Dr. John Schuetz, Pharmaceutical Sciences

“My placement at St Jude was an amazing opportunity for me as an undergraduate and provided me with a firm foundation for my future studies and career. The internship allowed me to learn valuable scientific knowledge and technical skills, provided me with insight into the academic world and developed my professional skills, all of which I would never have had the opportunity to learn in the classroom. The excellent facilities, world-class research, and powerful mission of St Jude made it an inspiring place to work, and the overwhelming friendliness of everyone there made every day a pleasurable experience. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked in such an incredible institution, and believe it has been the most valuable and rewarding experience of my academic career so far.”

Lauren Gittings with Dr. John Schuetz