Pipeline Programs

The Vivien Thomas Summer Research Program (VTRSP) of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is a six week program established in 2002 to recruit high school students to serve as apprentices in biomedical research laboratories. Students are mentored by an MSM research faculty and they conduct research by learning the content, process, and methodology involved in inquiry science. This immersion into authentic biomedical research coupled with being mentored by research faculty dramatically increases the transfer of knowledge, skills, and application of science.

Since its inception, 190 students have participated and successfully completed the program. Mentors have come from the following departments: Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Anatomy & Neurobiology.

Application Open: February 15, 2014
Application Deadline: April 18, 2014
Program Start and End Dates: June 2, 2014 - July 11, 2014

Goal and Objectives
The primary goal of the VTSRP is to increase the number of minority students interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences. The major objectives are to:

  • involve students in a mentoring relationship with active MSM faculty researchers
  • increase career interest in biomedical research
  • provide high school students with biomedical research experiences in preparation to present findings to peers and professionals
  • provide practical training in current research techniques and give students the skills, connections, and opportunities to be a part of the research community
  • enhance the skills of high school students in hands-on research by providing current, cutting-edge information and knowledge
  • develop skills necessary to formulate research questions, and hypotheses, develop theories, design experiments, gather, organize and analyze data, draw conclusions and present findings in several formats.

The long-term goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering primary care medicine, biomedical research, and allied health careers.

Program Information
Students conduct research for six weeks under the direction of a medical school faculty member and learn the content, process, and methodology involved in inquiry science. The program culminates with the students presenting their research findings to the faculty and staff at MSM. The interaction with scientific role models to learn the content, process and methodology involved in inquiry science can result in increased student motivation and positive attitudes toward learning science.


  • Interest in Biomedical Research
  • 3.5 overall GPA
  • Completed application
  • Report Card
  • Summary of Journal Article from Scientific American
  • Medical Information Consent Form
  • Recommendation Letters: Request two (2) confidential recommendations from teachers and/ or a counselor, including at least one from a science teacher. Recommendations must be submitted directly by the recommender or your high school office by the April 5, 2014 postmark deadline. 

Program Activities
The goal of the Vivien Thomas Summer Research Program is to increase the number of minority students interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences by exposing them to biomedical research in an authentic laboratory setting. The program is designed to access current on going research at MSM and provide a supportive environment to nurture an interest in scientific experimentation. The six-week (6) program is organized for students to have a concentrated research experience for two consecutive years.

The students participating in the program receive a broad overview of the diversity that exists in research, develop skills in various laboratory techniques, learn to demonstrate procedures in a research area of interest, conduct hands-on research experiments, and acquire computer skills in research presentation.

New for Summer 2014
We are pleased to introduce the Atlanta Sickle Cell Summer Research Training Program (ASCSRT) sponsored by the Excellence in Hemoglobinopathies Research Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and in collaboration with the Vivien Thomas Summer Research Program at Morehouse School of Medicine, is an outstanding science training opportunity for high school students. The program will accommodate up to three rising juniors or seniors. For more information on this program, and if interested in applying, please click the link found below.

Hours of Operation for Summer Programs
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Program Cost
The cost for the program is $600.00 for the six (6) week session. Payments are due prior to the program opening session. Students accepted to the program will be notified when the payments are due. The method of payment is either Cashier's checks or money orders, and payments should be made payable to Morehouse School of Medicine/Vivien Thomas Program. Please record the student's name on the method of payment (NO PERSONAL CHECKS).

There are no scholarships available at this time; however, sponsor letters are available upon request AFTER acceptance.

Program Coordinator, Wanda Harvey
Email: VTSRP@msm.edu
Office: (404) 752-1843

Quick Links

Vivien Thomas Research Program Online Application

Vivien Thomas Biography

Atlanta Sickle Cell Summer Research Training Program Guidelines / Recommender Forms

Atlanta Sickle Cell Summer Research Training Program Online Application