Medical College of Wisconsin School of Graduate Studies U1-Research 2F Microscope Lab-Grad-hero

Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) at the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) has been offered at the Medical College of Wisconsin for 40 years. During that time, SPUR has hosted hundreds of students who have since made significant contributions to science and humanity through their current positions as teachers, instructors, professors, researchers, industry professionals, government leaders and clinicians.  SPUR hosts roughly 35 participants each summer from across the country who gain valuable research experience, refine critical thinking skills, build upon academic and professional networks and are introduced to various disciplines of science.  Participation in SPUR is intended for students who are currently enrolled at an accredited college or university who intend to pursue scientific-based graduate studies.    

The SPUR Application has closed for summer '24

Over the last 5 years...

Average number of participants each year
Placement percentage
Schools represented by program participants
States across the U.S. that participants have come from

SPUR Application Information

Eligibility and Application

Applications must be submitted and complete prior to the application deadline. A complete application includes a submitted online application, two letters of recommendation and official transcript(s). The letters of recommendation must be written by current and/or former professors/instructors or advisors, and should convey the applicant's interest in the sciences and research. Transcripts must be received from any current or previously attended college/university.


The online application requires applicants to preference their three top areas of research interest. The areas available to choose from are representative of the areas that have traditionally hosted SPUR participants. Faculty will review applications primarily based around the research areas that applicants preference. It is the faculty who choose who they want to host as part of the program.


Previous laboratory experience is preferred but not required. Participants will need to adjust accordingly to working in various laboratory settings.


All application documentation (online form, letters of recommendation and transcript) must be submitted and/or postmarked by the application deadline. The application for SPUR '24 will open November 1, 2023 and the deadline is Thursday, February 1, 2024. Transcripts can be sent electronically via email to or sent to the following address:


MCW Graduate School (SPUR)
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226


Please arrange for two (2) recommenders to complete our online questionnaires. Please send one of the links below to one recommender, and the other to your second recommender.

It does not matter which link you choose to send to either of your recommenders. However, under no circumstances should you send the same link to both recommenders.


Applicants are typically notified around mid-April regarding their status. Applicants chosen to participate are sent an offer letter via email. Upon accepting the offer, the applicant's participation in SPUR is contingent upon completing and successfully passing a background check.


SPUR ’24 is scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 29, 2024 and conclude Friday, August 2, 2024. Participants must be able to provide a full-time effort (40 hours/week) and be present for the full duration of the program.


Applicants selected to participate in SPUR receive a stipend and are provided housing on an as-needed basis. The stipend for 2023 was $4,500.00, and was provided to participants in two equal payments. The first payment is issued nearly halfway through the program, while the second payment is issued at the end of the program. Participants living outside of the greater Milwaukee area are provided with housing at no additional cost and is in addition to the stipend they receive.


Participants are not provided with reimbursement for travel nor do they typically receive a meal plan.

Supplemental Information

All participants are required to provide...


  • Proof of health insurance
  • Payroll Verification
  • Emergency Contact Information


...following acceptance and successful completion of a background check. Additional documentation may be required as well.

International Students

International students studying at US domestic institutions on a F-1 visa are eligible to apply and participate in the program. The F-1 status is required for participation. All international students accepted into the program must work with their on-campus international student advisor. You will need to start the application process for OPT/CPT. If you receive an offer contact the international student advisor on your campus ASAP. Additional information is required from international students from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Please contact for additional information.

  • Abstract Booklet

    Review abstracts of the research from our 2023 SPUR participants.

    View Here

Participant Testimonials

“These ten weeks have been one of the most rewarding experiences of my undergraduate career. I am elated to have had the opportunity to work with fantastic faculty members and peers every day.”


June 2016

“I will cherish the experience that I gained from this program, and I am thankful that MCW does this for undergraduate students. I will recommend this program to anyone who’s teetering with the decision of what they want to do after they finish their undergraduate degree in science.”


June 2016

“I gained very valuable experience and relationships through the SPUR program this year. I am really grateful for the opportunity I have had to be a part of this lab and this program.”


June 2016

Contact Us

MCW Graduate School
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 955-8218
(414) 955-6555 (fax)

SPUR Contact
(414) 955-4402


MCW Graduate School Google map location