GW Summer Program Advancing Research on Cancer (GW-SPARC)

The George Washington Summer Program Advancing Research on Cancer (GW-SPARC) engages diverse undergraduates in a mentored summer research experience at the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center. This program is intended for undergraduates considering Ph.D. training and a career in research.

Students will be matched with outstanding researchers at the Cancer Center in:

  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • Cancer Therapies and Epigenetics
  • Cancer Engineering and Technology

This summer program fosters active engagement in cutting-edge research, exposure to contemporary cancer research techniques, understanding of health disparities and impact of cancer in different communities, and preparation for research careers. There will be no opportunities for clinical shadowing. Students will live and work in the heart of D.C., just blocks from national monuments, museums, and entertainment. At the end of the summer, all students participate in a poster session with other undergraduate researchers.


The program will provide $4,000 for 10 weeks participation, paid in two installments upon arrival. Additional funds up to $500 will be provided for travel to/from GW. Students are encouraged to stay in GW housing which will be provided by the program at no cost to the student.

Eligible applicants include:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. See descriptions in the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity.
  • Preference will be given to sophomores and juniors. Seniors graduating in 2023 are not eligible for this program.

Apply to 2023 GW SPARC

The application for 2023 SPARC is CLOSED. The application deadline is February 1, 2023. Anticipated dates for 2023 SPARC are May 28 - August 5. SPARC will adhere to the GW vaccine guidelines

The application package includes:

  • Application, including statement of interest
  • Contact information for two faculty recommenders
  • Unofficial transcripts

Once you submit the application, your recommenders will be contacted automatically with a request for their electronic recommendation.

SPARC-lers presented at ABRCMS, won prizes

Chidera Nosiri: Poster Presentation Award at the 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)

Ann Obi: First Place at Texas A&M Prairie View University 2018 Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium

Armando Ruiz Justiz: Poster Presentation Award at the 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS); 2019 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM)

Adriana Hernandez: Poster Presentation Award at 4th Annual Puerto Rico Cancer Research Meeting.

Sarah Belay and Daria Coffield matriculated as GW medical students.