UHN Summer Training and Research STAR Program

UHN Summer Training and Research (STAR) Program

*Principal Investigators and Staff can find instructions on how to onboard summer students at UHN on the intranet here.

About the Program

The UHN Summer Training And Research (STAR) Program provides opportunities for students to:

  • Perform summer research under the supervision of a UHN scientist
  • Attend educational sessions to learn critical research and professional development skills
  • Communicate their research with the community during a Research Day
  • Receive a certificate of program completion

Who is Eligible?

The program is designed for undergraduate and medical students, but some research positions are also open to graduate students requiring research placements, college students, and health professional learners (including nurses, occupational therapists, and more).

For information on research opportunities for high school students explore the UHN STEM Pathways website.

Why Choose UHN?

UHN is Canada’s largest hospital network, encompassing four hospital sites with expertise in a number of specialties. Each hospital site is recognized for excellence in distinct areas of specialization, a long and proud history, and a highly committed group of supporters and staff. Rooted in tradition and excellence, UHN plays a leadership role in the transformation of health care.

As it stands, 7 research institutes encompasses UHN and each specializes in different disciplines. With a  high level of health research activity and collaborations with other disciplines creates an unparalleled opportunity for a trainee to develop and fully realize their potential as a scientist. Within UHN  you can find great patient care partnered with health research and basic science, with an opportunity to attend a seminar and learn something from leading experts every day.

How to Participate in the UHN STAR Program

The first step to participating in the UHN STAR program, is securing a summer research position under the supervision of a UHN scientist.

There are three main mechanisms that students can use:

Contact UHN Scientists Directly to Inquire About Positions

Students are encouraged to identify UHN Scientists who work on research topics that they are interested in and contact these potential supervisors directly expressing interest in temporarily joining the lab. Students are encouraged to attach their resume and transcripts to these emails.

Note that the process for finding a supervisor and summer student position starts several months before the academic term ends, especially if an application for funding is involved—plan to start your search as early as December or January.

Apply Through Summer Research Programs 

There are Summer Research Programs in some of the departments at UHN and University of Toronto designed to help students find research supervisors.

Each program will have distinct application processes and due dates. Some programs involve applications where the student indicates scientists of interest and successful applicants are matched with a supervisor. Other programs involve students applying to job postings submitted by potential supervisors.

Apply to Job Postings

Occasionally, work or research positions for students will be posted on the UHN Careers Page and/or on the ORT website. Students are encouraged to apply directly to these positions.

Open Summer Research Opportunities

Job postings will be added as they are available.

Interested in Learning Tips and Tricks on How to Find a Summer Research Position?

View the recording of the information session on summer research positions at UHN which was held on December 7, 2023 at 12 pm.

The session shares tips on how to apply to summer research positions – including information on the different summer research programs and how to apply, advice from UHN PIs and past UHN summer students, information on what to expect in summer research positions (ie. pay, expectations) and more!

Watch the Recording
UHN Summer Research Information Session. December 7, 12-1 pm, Zoom. ORT and UHN logos are seen on the right.

After Securing a UHN Research Supervisor

1. Review the “New UHN employees Before you get Started” checklist here. This checklist will help students understand the necessary steps to get onboarded, including the mandatory immunizations and training. Students will receive an official offer letter with further onboarding instructions.

2. Register with the Office of Research Trainees (ORT) here. This provides students access to all of the ORT’s programming and resources, including research and career development workshops, the UHN STAR Learning Sessions, and the UHN STAR Research Day.

3. Students may also have access to other educational summer programs, based on the UHN and university affiliations of their supervisor. Explore the educational programs here.

4. Students can apply for awards for their summer research. See below!

2024 UHN STAR Program Learning Sessions and Research Day

The UHN STAR program offers a series of virtual learning sessions to help summer students develop critical research and professional development skills.

Learning Session Dates and Topics:

May 17th, 2-3:30 pm – Research Readiness: Strategies for a Productive Summer
May 31, 2-3:30 pm – Setting up For Success: Tips for New Researchers with the UHN Libraries
June 14, 2-3:30 pm – Creating Connections: Essential Networking Tips
July 5, 2-3:30 pm – Scientific Storytelling: Enhancing Your Communication and Presentation Skills with Dr. Nicole Woods
July 19, 2-3:30 pm – Navigating Futures: Exploring Diverse Careers in Science and Healthcare Panel Session
August 2, 2-3:30 pm – Advance Your Academics: Essential Insights into Graduate School Panel Session

UHN Summer Research students will also have the opportunity to share their summer research with the UHN research community through an in-person poster session on August 13th from 1 to 4 pm in the Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower (101 College St). *UHN summer research students who cannot present in the poster session will be provided an online alternative.*

UHN summer students who watch or attend at least four learning sessions and present their research will be given a certificate of program completion.

To attend the STAR Program Learning Sessions, summer students must be registered with the ORT. By registering, you will gain full access communications for each learning session!

UHN Summer Training and Research (STAR) Program Learning Session Schedule

Summer Research Awards

Students are encouraged to explore other summer research awards that they may be eligible for. Some programs will also have awards available for the best presentations at Summer Research Days.

If you are aware of a summer research program or award that you would like promoted on our website please email ortadmin@uhn.ca.