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Program Dates: June - August, Annually
Application Deadline: February 1 by 5pm EST, Annually

The CTBR’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) is an 8-week program that gives undergraduates hands-on experience in one of 53 research laboratories at Hunter College, CUNY in NYC. Our goal is to train and encourage undergraduate students to pursue graduate study in biomedical research, and in drug abuse/addiction and neuroscience.

SPUR is now supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)  through a R25 grant. NIDA’s mission is to lead the nation’s scientific research on prevention, treatment, and consequences of drug addiction. This funding enables us to offer students the opportunity to select from two specialized research tracks. 

Before beginning an application, please review the research opportunities in faculty laboratories on our two research tracks: 




SPUR partners with the Leadership Alliance, an academic consortium of 32 institutions dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in scientific research. Through this partnership, we attract large numbers of students from around the country to Hunter College for summer research experiences at the CTBR. This partnership increases the impact of the SPUR program on addressing the national issue of minority underrepresentation in biomedical research.


Undergraduate applicants must

  • Be US citizens or permanent residents
  • Be a current college student
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Be a major in biology, chemistry, biopsychology, biophysics or biotechnology, or another biomedical research area
  • Have completed at least one year of coursework in their major prior to joining SPUR

Members of minority groups underrepresented in science such as African Americans, Latinos, or Native Americans are especially encouraged to apply.

Financial and Housing Information

Undergraduate students will receive the following:

  • Stipend - $3,000 paid in installments throughout the program.
  • Travel - All travel expenses to and from the program are reimbursed upon submission of receipts.
  • Housing - Program participants unable to commute to the program stay at the International House in Manhattan at no cost.  The International House has housed students from all over world in its current location by Riverside Park since 1924.

Program Curriculum

All undergraduate students will participate in the following:

Research Project
Program participants conduct an independent research project with close supervision by a CTBR faculty mentor. This typically includes participation in lab meetings, data collection, data analysis, laboratory experiments, and scientific literature reviews.


Topics include Research Techniques, Research Animal Handling, Bioimaging, Scientific Writing, and Presentation Preparation. Students will receive training to use the CTBR research facilities:

Animal Facility
Bio-Imaging Facility
Flow Cytometry
eCollaboration Facility
NMR Facility
X-ray Diffraction Facility

Guest speakers include young minority researchers conducting successful research at academic institutions, the NIH, and in the biotech industry.

Video Presentation
Program participants present their research project at the end of the program. This final presentation is professionally video recorded and posted to the CTBR website. We encourage participants to include this video link on their CV.

Leadership Alliance National Symposium
All students in the program have the opportunity to present their research and network with other summer research program participants.



If you still have questions after reviewing our program pages, please email the program coordinator, Christine Gonzalez – cgo0025(at) hunter (dot) cuny (dot) edu.