City of Hope has more than 50 years of experience identifying college students processing the potential to conduct innovative biomedical research and providing them with an intensive research experience where they participate as members of an active biomedical research group. In addition, our educational activities provide significant opportunities for students networking, development of critical thinking skills, interaction with world class scientists and science educators, workshops to enhance oral and written communication skills and introductions to research ethics.

International Student Research Training Program


Program overview

The International Student Research Training Program is a not-for-credit intensive research training programs aimed to provide students with an opportunity for an intensive “hands-on” research experience. We seek students possessing exceptional potential to perform biomedical research. Students are generally expected to design and work on their own research projects in areas of overlapping interest with their mentor’s research program. City of Hope faculty, members, post-doctoral associates and advanced graduate students act as mentors who provide valuable guidance and support while simultaneously encouraging independent thought and exploration.

Application requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be enrolled in a baccalaureate program at another institution and must not be in the first or final year of study
  • Not be under any disciplinary sanction
  • Be willing to commit to a minimum period of full time research required for each training level
  • Have the requisite curiosity, creativity and interest in doing biomedical research
  • Provide additional requirements for international students whose English is not the native language:
  • Provide proof of verifiable English skill including TOEIC score of 605, IELTS score of 6.5, or TOEFL (ITB) score of ideally 80.  A lower TOEFL score may be acceptable if the minimum scores for each section are as the following and the combined score is not lower than 64:
    • Reading: 15 (intermediate level)
    • Listening: 15 (intermediate level)
    • Speaking: 18 (fair level)
    • Writing: 17 (fair level)
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial support for the entire period of program.
  • Completion of the International Visiting Student Application Form

Application Process

All applicants complete an application, which includes their biographical data, letters of recommendation, transcripts, CV, and personal statement.  

The application review involves both the faculty at their institution and the program coordinator at the City of Hope. The applications undergo a review by a faculty committee whose selection criteria include academic performance and ability to speak and to write in English.  
Laboratories at the City of Hope which may be interested in hosting summer interns are solicited by the program coordinator.  The information of the selected students is sent to interested professors and a matching process based on the student’s research interests is conducted.

Program requirements

  • Complete orientation, safety training and have City of Hope Medical Clearance
  • Complete a minimum of 6 weeks but not more than 12 weeks of full time research (38-49 hours of laboratory performing research per week)
  • Attend weekly laboratory meetings and campus seminars (approximately 0-2 hours per week)
  • Prepare an oral and/or poster presentation
  • Submit a two to three-page research report
  • Upon completion of program, students receive certificate of completion (not-for-credit).
         What to expect?
Pre Program
  • Orientation
  • On-boarding information sessions
  • Getting to know your PI and lab members
  • Cultural enrichment activities on your own
International Student Research Training Program*
  • Hands-on research experience with your PI and lab members
  • Conduct research projects
  • Attend weekly laboratory meetings and seminars
  • Prepare an oral and/or poster presentation
  • Write up a two to three-page research report
  • Other related academic activates with your lab and more
  • Post program personal enrichment activities
  • Cultural enrichment activities
  • Field trips and travel on your own