Michigan Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Academy

Important Dates

Application LIVE for URA Program
Application Deadline
Program Start Date
Program End Date

General Program Information

Mamadou, MHSURA participant, in lab

No. of Participants: 15-20

Location: University of Michigan Medical School

Financial support: Stipend, housing and meal allowance provided

The Institute is deigned to develop the Association of American Medical Colleges ( AAMC Core Competencies).  The URA curricula are aligned to the core competencies that are fundamental to preparing students to be future healthcare professionals

Diversity is essential in addressing today’s health disparities - from the students who train to become tomorrow’s scientists and physicians, to the patients who will benefit from their research and care. The Michigan Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Academy (MHSURA) is designed for undergraduate students who want to explore biomedical research and health professional career pathways in a stimulating and inclusive environment.

As a URA Fellow, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Experience working with medical professionals
  • Be matched with a faculty mentor which considers you unique interests and attributes
  • Experience collaborating with a research team
  • Gain additional insight and understanding of health equity
  • Learn about a broad spectrum of career options in health sciences
  • Participate in leadership and professional development seminars
  • Exhibit your research or clinical experience at a University of Michigan symposium attended by faculty, staff and students at the end of the program


  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Have a valid U.S. social security number
  • Enrolled full time at an accredited community college or four-year institution
  • Applicant must demonstrate a socioeconomic disadvantage, educational disadvantage or desire to work in underserved communities
  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative and science GPA of 3.0

Students may not take academic classes or be engaged in other activities that would prevent them from attending all training sessions.  The program includes numerous evening and limited weekend activities designed to build community and awareness.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  • Personal and academic accomplishments
  • Successful completion of first-year undergraduate biology and chemistry courses
  • College and science GPA of 3.0
  • A demonstrated interest in a career in medicine or biomedical research
  • Demonstrated commitment to helping underserved populations
  • Quality of academic recommendations
  • Responses to essay questions

Please note that students are only eligible to participate in the Michigan Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Academy twice.

  • This program is open to all students with an interest in medicine and health disparities.  Applicants from underrepresented groups in medicine, rural and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Michigan Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Academy (MHSURA). 

A completed application includes:

  • Submitted online application
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation: One of which must be from a science faculty member/instructor
  • Official or unofficial transcript from your institution(s)
  • Submitted essay responses

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact oheiprehealthprograms@umich.edu.

Program Modules

Modules are implemented throughout the ten-week program to meet the programmatic goals below.  These modules represent a collection of activities that are considered foundational to the URA



Each learner will be assigned to work with a faculty research mentor on a clinical or basic science research project. This process is designed to facilitate growth in research and professionalism.  Learners are also assigned to a team led by a medical student or OHEI scholar. Learners are required to present findings from their projects each week during team meetings in addition to the presentation of a relevant journal article. During the final week of the program, students deliver both oral and poster presentations and submit written reports based on the style guidelines of relevant journal.



Students will be exposed to the challenging topics that are viewed as contributing to the social inequities and observable healthcare outcomes that impact society. These fundamental concepts are explored as the root cause of the experiences of  underserved populations in the United States. The content is introduced and explored with videos, articles, historical accounts, and personal reflections from the students and the instructor. The diverse composition of the class allows exploration of these topics from various racial, ethnic, and social economic perspectives. Students will also explore the impact of diversity given the future population projections of the US and the resultant impact on patient care, health outcomes, and the healthcare professionals of the future.



Learners will be provided knowledge and skills relevant to becoming a culturally competent healthcare professional through the following session topics and activities in partnership with the Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR) and Spectrum Center:

Entering Communities: Learners will engage in activities designed to encourage thinking around norms and expectations in their own communities and those that exist in others.

Introduction to Pronoun Usage & LGBTQ Identities: Learners will be encouraged to participate in dialogue addressing LGBTQ and Non-Binary Identities, to increase the future physicians’ social competencies regarding potential patients who fall within this spectrum.

Social Identity 101: Learners will be introduced to the concept of social identity and its influence on individuals, groups, and communities.

Communication Across Identities: Learners will be given opportunities to expand their thinking and skill-building around bringing identity into conversations and addressing conflicts related to social identity. Learners will be asked to engage in critical dialogue that help challenge and identity their own biases toward those different from themselves in a non-threatening manner.

Power and Oppression in Groups: Learners will spend time not only understanding how to mitigate and resolve situations that may be damaging, but also how group and power dynamics may create preference for some identities over others, as well as engage in thinking on how to identify and reduce these effects.



Participants will develop and identify leadership and professional skills with a multi-session course on leadership and professional communication, etiquette, and science communication. The adapted lessons from these sessions aim to increase understanding and awareness of the direct results of their actions, attitudes and behaviors within formal and informal environments.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact oheiprehealthprograms@umich.edu or call 734-763-7726