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SickKids

SickKids Summer Research (SSuRe) Program

The SickKids Summer Research (SSuRe) Program provides professional and career development opportunities for undergraduate students who are working on a research project with a Research Institute (RI) scientist for the summer.

Program highlights

  • All undergraduate and medical students doing research with a RI scientist over the summer months are invited to participate in program activities  
  • 15-weeks from May to mid-August 
  • Weekly seminars presented by Hospital and RI scientists 
  • Career Night where students have a chance to meet research staff from across the RI 
  • Opportunity to present research projects at annual Summer Student Symposium 
  • Awards presented to select students for exceptional research projects

Eligibility, How to Apply, and Hiring Information

Expand the sections below to learn more about eligibility and how to apply for a SickKids summer student position, as well as potential hiring opportunities!

Download the 2023 SSuRe application form now. 

Any student who will be enrolled in a university/college undergraduate program in the fall following the Summer Program or enrolled in medical school is eligible to be hired as a Research Summer Student. That includes high school students in their last year. If you are in your final year of undergraduate studies, you are eligible to be hired as a Research Summer Student so long as you will be, or have applied to be, enrolled in a university/college program in the fall. 

If you’re a high school student but not in your last year, you may be eligible to participate in the Student Advancement Research (StAR) internship program

Students interested in applying to posted positions are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as scientists receive a high volume of applications and positions are filled quickly. Positions are posted in late fall/early winter. You must apply directly to each posting via the method of application indicated. Neither the Research Training Centre nor the Human Resources Department will accept or forward Research Summer Student applications.  

If you would like to apply to more than one scientist, you must send individual applications to each scientist, as each scientist is responsible for selecting their own student(s). You can view our full list of scientists on our Reseachers page.


To apply for a summer position, students must submit the following directly to the hiring scientist(s) via their preferred application method (as noted in the posting):  

1. Download, complete, and submit the SickKids Summer Research Program student application form (PDF)

2. Cover letter

3. CV/Resume

4. Current university/college transcripts  

  • Official or unofficial transcripts (copies or online versions) are acceptable. Please submit electronically with the rest of your application.
  • No minimum grade point average (GPA) is required to be eligible to apply for a SickKids Research Summer Student position. However, these positions are highly competitive, so it’s to your advantage to have a strong GPA. That said, passion and genuine interest go a long way!  

5. One reference letter from an individual familiar with your skills, and best able to describe your past and/or current work/school experience (e.g. professor, high school teacher, previous employer, volunteer supervisor etc.).

  • In order to ensure that it remains confidential, the letter shouldn’t be sent to you or included in your application package. The reference letter should be emailed by your referee directly to the hiring scientist(s) with the subject line: SickKids Summer Research Reference Letter - <Candidate’s Last Name>, <First Name>.  
  • There are no specific criteria your referee should address, but you can suggest that your referee consider describing your educational background, academic performance, relevant research training or work experience, characteristics, and abilities. Your referee should also highlight your achievements to date. Make sure that you provide your referee with a copy of your application and CV to refer to when writing your letter!  

6. Any other documents required by the individual posting.


Due to the large volume of applications received, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Each scientist will conduct interviews and make final selections independent of the Research Training Centre. All candidates selected for posted positions will have been contacted by early April of each year. 

After the deadline, students are advised to contact scientist(s) directly to see if positions are still available as only candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.

Some scientists choose not to post research summer student positions, but rather hire students by direct application. 

To contact a scientist to see if they have any open research student opportunities, please visit our list of SickKids researchers to see who is doing research you’re interested in and contact them directly.

The U of T Student Life blog has a handy post with advice on applying for summer research positions.


Students must email the following directly to the scientist(s):

1.  Download, complete, and submit the SickKids Summer Research Program student application form (PDF)

2.Cover letter

3. CV/Resume

4. Current university/college transcripts

  • Official or unofficial transcripts (copies or online versions) are acceptable. Please submit electronically with the rest of your application.
  • No minimum grade point average (GPA) is required to be eligible to apply for a SickKids Research Summer Student position. However, these positions are highly competitive, so it’s to your advantage to have a strong GPA. That said, passion and genuine interest go a long way!

5. One reference letter from an individual familiar with your skills, and best able to describe your past and/or current work/school experience (e.g. professor, high school teacher, previous employer, volunteer supervisor etc.).

  • In order to ensure that it remains confidential, the letter shouldn’t be sent to you or included in your application package. The reference letter should be emailed by your referee directly to the hiring scientist(s) with the subject line: SickKids Summer Research Reference Letter - <Candidate’s Last Name>, <First Name>.
  • There are no specific criteria your referee should address, but you can suggest that your referee consider describing your educational background, academic performance, relevant research training or work experience, characteristics, and abilities. Your referee should also highlight your achievements to date. Make sure that you provide your referee with a copy of your application and CV to refer to when writing your letter!

Due to the large volume of applications received, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Each scientist will conduct interviews and make final selections independent of the Research Training Centre.

A research summer student placement can be of any duration (with the exception of the Lunenfeld Summer Studentship and the Opportunity Summer Studentship, funded positions which must be 15 weeks) and the start dates and end dates, as well as hours per week, can be negotiated between each student and supervisor. Research Summer Students must be paid the minimum hourly rate of $15.00 + 6% vacation.

Students and their supervisors will negotiate working hours at the time of hire or start. We expect increased flexibility and variability due to COVID-19.

SSuRe Program 2023 Job Posting

There are no job postings available at this time. Check back soon!

What does the SSuRe Program curriculum include?

The SSuRe Program is here to support you from day one, from orientation and training to creating a poster to present at Symposium Day! 

Any high school or undergrad student working on a research project with a SickKids scientist over the summer months is warmly invited to participate in the SSuRe Program activities. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, where at SickKids you’re working, or how you’re getting paid — join us!

The SSuRe Program runs two research summer student-specific orientation sessions in May prior to the commencement of the program’s curricular activities — in the first and last week of May. Orientation includes a welcome address from our SSuRe Program committee chairs, information about clinical research services and research ethics, fire safety training, and occupational health services, including your occupational health appointment. You’ll get auto enrolled into the appropriate session, depending on your start date.

You’ll also get priority access to lab safety training sessions. The first sessions are held over the second week of May and the second sessions are held over the first week of June. 

If your start date does not correspond with these orientation and training dates—no problem! You’ll just attend the usual SickKids’ orientation and training, and we’ll post the orientation slides on our internal summer program pages. 

Each week, a leading SickKids scientist provides a dynamic, engaging talk intended to teach you something about a different area of research happening in the hospital and research institute. By the end of the summer, you'll have a better understanding and appreciation of the key roles basic and clinical research have in advancing our knowledge of human health and disease.  

The program also runs two skills focused seminars: winning posters and effective abstracts and a “how to talk to strangers” networking seminar. These seminars will teach you how to translate your research in a way that’s engaging, easy to understand, and inspiring. You’ll get best practices on writing effective abstracts, and give you the design ideas, tools, and software suggestions you need to create dynamic, eye-catching posters—and hands-on practice and expert knowledge about how to meet and talk to new people about yourself and your research.

Wondering what you might do with your science degree?

Come to Career Night to meet and network with current and SickKids Research Institute individuals who work in a variety of science careers. Learn about what they do, how they got there, and how they balance their work and home lives.  

Symposium Day gives you the full conference experience! You’ll submit an abstract, create a poster, present your work, and network with colleagues and scientists.

All non-graduate summer students doing research at SickKids are invited to participate. We’ll also choose the student with the best abstract from each of the seven Research Institute programs and invite you to give an oral presentation and a chance to win a prize! We’ll also give out prizes to the student with the best poster from each of the seven Research Institute programs.

Summer Research Funding Opportunities

The SickKids First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Summer Studentship provides a full 15-week full-time summer student stipend (approximately $8,500) to three incoming SickKids summer students who are First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

Apply on SlideRoom

The SSuRe Program provides $2,000 for up to 35 SickKids Research Institute scientists to support Research Summer Student salaries. The funding is generously provided from the Lunenfeld Summer Studentship.

Lunenfeld Studentships are awarded directly to the scientist and Research Summer Students supported by this funding will be required to participate in Symposium Day by submitting and abstract and presenting a poster/oral presentation. 

Your hiring scientist will let you know if you are a Lunenfeld Studentship funded student.  

In 2019, the SSuRe Program began a partnership with the Community of Support Research Application Support Initiative (COS-RASI) at the University of Toronto to help support students who are Indigenous, Black, Filipino, economically disadvantaged, or who self-identify as disabled. This program targets students who are interested in finding summer positions in health science research to help support their career development in the field of medicine.

The partnership includes support in applying to centralized positions, mentorship opportunities, access to all SSuRe Program initiatives. 

The Opportunity Summer Studentship is valued at $2,000 each and will be awarded to the top ten ranked applicants to the COS-RASI program.

Fall 2022 Application deadline: coming soon

For more information on how to apply to the RASI stream next fall, visit the COS page on the University of Toronto website through the link below.

View COS information

For external funding information, please visit the What's New in Research page on the University of Toronto's website through the link below.

View Funding Opportunities

Summer Research Funding Results

2023 Recipients

Coming soon!

Community of Support Summer Studentship 2022

  • Asiya Ali
  • Idil Abdi
  • Juliane Feliciano
  • Marie Jo Abdul-Hay
  • Nana Kwesi Amartei Brocke
  • Sahba Eskandari
  • Samantha Tse
  • Sara Ali
  • Sinéad Osivwemu

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Summer Studentship 2022

  • Kristine Keon
  • Natalie Robitaille

Lunenfeld Summer Studentship 2022

  • Amanda Headrick
  • Amber Lee
  • Ana Janic
  • Anisa Khalfan
  • Ariane Isaac-bertrand
  • Avneet Ghotra
  • Daniel D'Souza
  • Deja Allison
  • Edward Chen
  • Fiorelle Aguilar
  • Grace Parish
  • Heili Poolsaar
  • Huilin Niu
  • Jessica Guo
  • Joelle  Peresin
  • Joy Khalil
  • Junlin Ren
  • Justin Xu
  • Kate Tsiandoulas
  • Matthew Tang
  • Melanie Posiewko
  • Natasha Trehan
  • Nathaniel Vo
  • Nevatha Kingsley
  • Nora Hodgson
  • Pegi Kaimi
  • Priscilla Fung
  • Sabrina Yang
  • Shurabi Anphalagan
  • Sofia Olaizola
  • Stefan Vislavski
  • Subin Park
  • Taylor Harris
  • Zhixin Zhang

Community of Support Summer Studentship 2021

  • Daniel Gaim
  • Deena Hassan
  • Hanifa Hasan
  • Isaiah Abrahams
  • Layla Ahmed
  • Lujayn Mahmoud
  • Maanasa Koripalli
  • Megan Clarke
  • Noyangbe Yesufu
  • Sonika Kumari
  • Tumi Olaoye

Lunenfeld Summer Studentship 2021

  • Abby Tafler
  • Addison Weatherhead
  • Adrian Sammy
  • Adrian Tanjala
  • Akash Kothari
  • Alisia Pan
  • Amanda Fregonas
  • Andrew Dissanayake
  • Anshika Jain
  • Arteen Torabi-Marashi
  • Benjamin Zhang
  • Bhagyashree Sharma
  • Brian Tsang
  • Bushra Haque
  • Cale Kooyman
  • Cathy Zhang
  • Charul Narain
  • Christina Papaioannou
  • Christopher Chu
  • Claire Howard
  • David Chen
  • David Friedland
  • Edgar Martinez Chavez
  • Ekambir Saran
  • Elena Huang
  • Elizabeth Wei
  • Emma Huang
  • Eric Godden
  • Fatima Ahmad
  • Felicia Balsamo
  • Gal Armon
  • Gee Hung Leo Cheong
  • Giselle Menezes
  • Helena Teng
  • Jaime Turk
  • Jasmine Dhaliwal
  • Jason Chung
  • Jiang (Barry) Nan
  • Jiayin (Emma) Xie
  • Jonathan Chung
  • Jordyn Burnett
  • Josh Gopaul
  • Joshua Neposlan
  • Joshua Dworsky-Fried
  • Joyce Ang
  • Kaitlin Lees
  • Karen Li
  • Katherine Bailey
  • Keiran Pace
  • Kevin Auw-Yang
  • Kha Nguyen
  • Kristen Schulz
  • Kyobin Hwang
  • Lauren Sano
  • Lloyd Fan
  • Lu Yi (Lina)  Li
  • Lucas Aragao
  • Lydia Leung
  • Madeleine Harris
  • Marium Kiwan
  • Masum Patel
  • Matthew Mueller
  • Max Somer
  • Mayura Panjalingam
  • Melissa Misztal
  • Michelle Prunier
  • Nykan Mirchi
  • Olivia Moir
  • Parneon Zakikhan
  • Patrick Grzela
  • Penelope McCreath
  • Priya Patel
  • Rob Taylor
  • Sahar Hoveyda
  • Sarah Yang
  • Sarah Yang
  • Sean Borkhoff
  • Shayna Tierney
  • Shirley Yu
  • Shiv Kandappah
  • Sonja Sulstarova
  • Sophia Farcas
  • Sriprada Thallapalli
  • Sufyan Rather
  • Sydney Steiman
  • Thalia Pandolfi
  • Thrmiga Sathiyamoorthy
  • Tiffany  Ayoub
  • Travis Wang
  • Vanessa Chen
  • Veronica Grad
  • Walter  Byrne
  • Wanyao (Yoyo) Chen
  • Wendy  Wu
  • Wendy Zhai
  • Yifan Duan
  • Yuman (Wendy) Zhai
  • Zhenyu Li

Underrepresented Minority Summer Studentship 2019

Kristine Keon

Lunenfeld Summer Studentship 2019

  • Abby Krupski
  • Adrian Che
  • Allen Bao
  • Avery Bailey
  • Benjamin Liu
  • Catherine Campbell
  • Deanna Kim
  • Hyunjin Kim
  • Isabel Zhang
  • Jee Woo Park
  • Justine Ziolkowski
  • Karen Li
  • Kimberly Gayle
  • Kugarja Sivanesan
  • Lauren Pickel
  • Madeline Elder
  • Mansuba Rana
  • Michael Groff
  • Mikaela Palandra
  • Nilasha Thayalan
  • Pranipa Ernest
  • Seyed Amir Ali Adel
  • Stella Schneckenburger
  • Susanna Lee
  • Tamara Dubljevic
  • Tarnem Afify
  • Victoria Wicks
  • Vincent So
  • Yiyao Yu
  • Yuen Tung Natalie Au
  • Zetao Liu
  • Zi Ling Yang
  • Zoe Friedman

Underrepresented Minority Summer Studentship 2018

Timothy Seto

Lunenfeld Summer Studentship 2018

  • Adam Minich
  • Alexandr Sacha Magder
  • Alexis Karsli
  • Angelo Ricci
  • Anson Hui
  • Biren Dave
  • Brooke Green
  • Caberry (Wei Yang Yu)
  • Darren Chai
  • David Yanofsky
  • Elaine Thai
  • Emma Swaffield
  • Ergi Duli
  • Farhan Mahmood
  • Grace Regent
  • Ido Nofech Mozes
  • Isabel de Verteuil
  • Janice Pang
  • Jeremy Wu
  • Joshua Charkow
  • Kate Bottomley
  • Lucia Santos
  • Nadine Tan
  • Pranjan Gandhi
  • Sara Rizakos
  • Sarah Moldaver
  • Shikha Patel
  • Shuzin (Cindy) Lin
  • Suvarna Moharir
  • Talia Wolfe
  • Tasneem Islam
  • Timothy Seto
  • Tse (Ben) Chen
  • Victor Adarquah
  • Yifang (Octavia) Weng
  • Zaynah Khan

Underrepresented Minority Summer Studentship 2017

Yitong Yang

Lunenfeld Summer Studentship 2017

  • Ahmad Shakeri
  • Alexa Desimone
  • Alexander Friesen
  • Amna Zulfiqar
  • Cadia Chan
  • Christian F Delayun
  • D'Arcy Prendergast
  • Dhia Azzouz
  • Do Young Kim
  • Emma Sypes
  • Erin Jacobs
  • Henry Yuheng Liu
  • James An
  • Katina Zheng
  • Kyra Moura
  • Lamia Hossain
  • Liel Cohn
  • Maxwell Gelkopf
  • Phyllis Yiu
  • Randolph Kissoon
  • Rhea Jangra
  • Ronwell Joshua Pusong
  • Salar Sadri
  • Sarah Pol
  • Tasneem Islam
  • Thenuka Thanabalasingam
  • Victoria O'Driscoll
  • Xiahuizi Li
  • Yun-Kyo Kim

Cell Biology:

Ekam Saran

Carina Lyons

Tima Al Shammaa

 

Child Health Evaluative Sciences:

Estreya Cohen

Leighton Schreyer

Nicholas Chan

 

Developmental & Stem Cell Biology:

Rachel Morley

Luiza Lopes Pontual

Taylor Harris

 

Genetics & Genome Biology:

Nikola Reko

Jordan Lindzon

 

Molecular Medicine:

Kana Ogawa

 

Neurosciences & Mental Health:

Olivia Hendrikx

Natalie Robitaille

 

Translational Medicine:

Jonathan Chung

Subin Park

Juliane Feliciano

 

Other:

Rebecka Quinn

 

Frequently asked questions

Eligibility

Yes, the 2023 SSuRe program is running this year!

Yes, non-degree students are eligible to apply to Research Summer Student positions, as long as you will be going back to school in the fall. See eligibility criteria above.

If you are in your last year of high-school and entering into a college or university program in the fall, following the SSuRe Program, you are eligible to Research Summer Student positions. 

Yes, as long as you have applied to, or have been accepted into, a research degree program in the fall following the SSuRe Program, you are eligible to Research Summer Student positions. 

No, you are not eligible to be hired as a Research Summer Student. However, you may be eligible to be hired into a different research student or research staff position. Please contact the scientist(s) you are interested in working with to see if they have any open research student opportunities available. 

Yes, international students are eligible to apply to the program. However, international students will need to comply with all COVID-19 quarantine protocols in place at the time the program starts. Students must be located within Ontario during their summer placement.

The SSuRe Program activities officially start at the beginning of May and run for 15 weeks until Symposium Day, which is held in mid-August. Depending on how much later you are able to begin work, this may not be enough time for you to conduct sufficient research for your abstract presentation on Symposium Day.  

Most students will begin on the first day of the SSuRe Program and will have ample time to work on their projects, which may put you at a disadvantage when submitting your abstract for Symposium Day. Please consider this before applying to the program. Please contact the scientist(s) you are interested in working with to ask if they would be willing to accept your application under these circumstances. 

If you are a medical student, your Research Summer Student position will begin June 1, or the first business day after June 1. 

We suggest that you limit your applications to five scientists. Send your applications to those you are most interested in and best suit your interests.

If a scientist’s name is no longer on the SSuRe Program website, they are no longer accepting applications for a Research Summer Student. They are either conducting interviews or have already selected a student.

The SickKids Research Volunteer Program is entirely separate from the SickKids Summer Research Program (SSuRe). All SSuRe students must be paid at least minimum wage plus vacation. 

Of course! Please see applying to posted and unposted positions above.

All SSuRe program activities (orientation, seminars, career day, and symposium) are expected to take place in-person. Please keep an eye on this page for any updates.

Depending on your summer project, you may be working onsite or remotely to conduct your research. Please connect with your supervisor for more information.

All summer students, including students working remotely, are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19: received two doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single dose of a one dose COVID-19 vaccine series that is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization or approved by Health Canada.

During your onboarding, you may also be asked to provide proof of immunization for the following: Tuberculosis (TB) status, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Hepatitis B and Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis. 

Yes! We suggest that you limit your applications to five scientists.

You'll need to discuss remote work arrangements with your supervisor(s). Please note, summer students working remotely must be located within Ontario to connect to the SickKids network. 

Transcripts

If you do not have university transcripts available, one from high school would be acceptable. First semester marks or mid-term marks are also acceptable, if available from your institution.

If you do not have a transcript from your current year, one from your previous year would be acceptable (i.e. you are in third year but send second year marks).

Reference Letter(s)

Yes. A reference should be from someone you feel would be best able to describe your past or current work/school experience. If you are not sure if a reference letter from a particular individual would be acceptable, please contact the scientist(s) to whom you wish to apply to ask.

This is at the discretion of each scientist. Please contact the scientist(s) in advance of submitting a full application to ask.

You may address your reference letter to: SickKids Hiring Manager.

Hiring

Due to the number of applications scientists receive each year, only those applicants who are selected for an interview will be contacted by the scientist. If you have not heard about your application by the end of March, you likely have not been selected. 

No enrollment necessary! Once you’ve been offered a Research Summer Student position, you’ll complete the onboarding package sent to you by the scientist (or their delegate). From there, we’ll auto-enroll you onto our SSuRe Program newsletter mailing list—so make sure you check the email you provide in the RTC Registry! 

Due to the volume of applications received by each scientist, only applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted. We suggest you wait until after the application deadline to inquire with the scientist. If you haven't heard back by early April, it is likely that the scientist has filled the position. 

Please include the SSuRe program application form, cover letter,  CV/resume, transcript(s), and one reference letter when applying to SSuRe program positions.

Contact the RTC

Have a question? Get in touch with us today!

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