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Undergraduate Research Program

Scan Design Innovations in Pain Research Summer Program

A summer research program for UW undergraduates offered through the Undergraduate Research Program.

Funded by The Scan|Design Foundation by Inger & Jens Bruun in partnership with UW Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine.

The application cycle for Summer 2017 is now closed.
Application deadline: February 15, 2017

Program description

Pain represents an immense clinical problem. Millions of people in the U.S. alone suffer from debilitating chronic pain.  In order to advance the field so that we can reduce this burden and offer hope to the many patients with chronic pain, we will need to better understand pain and treatment mechanisms, develop new therapies, and improve access to evidence-based pain care. In order to do this, we need to create opportunities and incentives for innovative research. The Scan|Design Foundation by Inger & Jens Bruun has partnered with UW Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine to create a research innovation award program that will support creative, early stage research projects with the potential to lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of pain.  As part of this investment, a Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity in Pain Research was developed to expose undergraduate students to interdisciplinary research in pain to stimulate interest in future careers in pain research.

Program eligibility


  • Current full-time UW undergraduate students (with potential major areas of study in biological sciences, psychology, nursing, social work, and/or engineering)
  • Rising juniors (based on credits), rising seniors, or non-graduating seniors (who are returning in the fall after summer participation to continue undergraduate studies) at time of 2016 summer program
  • Interest in exploring either basic science or clinical research in pain treatment
  • Interest in pursuing a PhD, MD or MD-PhD

2017 Important dates and deadlines

  • Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 – Application Deadline
  • end of March 2017 – Program Notifications
  • Monday, June 19th – Friday, August 18th, 2017 – Program Dates

Program requirements

The Scan Design Innovations in Pain Research Summer Program places selected students in participating faculty’s research environments for full-time, 9-week intensive research immersion experiences. Participating students will not be permitted to engage in other jobs, labs, or academic courses during the program term.

Awardees will also be required to:

  • Complete a full-time intensive research experience in one of the participating faculty laboratories
  • Attend weekly research seminars focused on current topics in science and workshops that provide training in research skills and ethics
  • Participate in summer undergraduate research evaluation activities that support your growth as a researcher and scholar. These activities include completing online surveys before your research begins, in the middle of the research, and at the end of the research experience and having periodic conversations focused on your strengths and areas of growth with your mentor and attend a brief evaluation training hosted by URP on either Friday, June 2, 2017 from 10:10-11:00 a.m. or Monday, June 5, 2017, from 12:40-1:30 p.m.;
  • Attend student orientation on Monday, June 19, 2017 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Students will join research groups after 1:30 p.m.;
  • Present their research to faculty, peers, and the community at a concluding poster session at the University of Washington – Seattle campus;
  • Students will also be required to present their research in the May 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium if still enrolled at UW.
  • Present their research to faculty, peers, and the community at a concluding poster presentation session at the University of Washington – Seattle campus
  • Students will also be required to present their research in the May 2018 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium

Award and activities

Financial support is a critical component of the Innovations in Pain Research Summer Program. Students will receive a $5,000 stipend to be disbursed in equal installments throughout the program term. Housing is not provided for participating students. There will be various optional social and recreational activities offered throughout the summer program.


Required application materials include:

  • Submitted Online Application (including .pdf versions of your resume/cv and unofficial transcript)
  • One Letter of Recommendation from a Faculty Member

The Faculty Recommender should be familiar with your coursework or prior research experience. After you submit your Faculty Recommender contact information in the online application, your recommender will receive an email message from the Undergraduate Research Program requesting the letter. We encourage you to discuss your request for a letter of recommendation with the faculty member as early as possible and prior to providing your recommender’s contact information in the online application system.

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