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

There are no open positions at this time.

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

View a recording of an information session on summer research positions at UHN held by the ORT on December 1, 2022.

The session shares tips on how to apply to positions – including advice from UHN PIs and past UHN summer students, offers advice on how to prepare for interviews, helps you to understand what to expect in summer research positions (ie. pay, expectations) and more!

Watch Recording
Navy blue and yellow poster. Information session on Summer Research Opportunities at UHN. Includes: how and where to apply, application tips, how to prepare for interviews, what to expect and more. December 1, 2022. 12-1 pm, Zoom.

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!

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:

Wednesday May 10th, 2-3 pm – Enhancing your Networking and LinkedIn Skills
Thursday June 1, 2-3 pm – Exploring Careers in Research and Healthcare
Thursday June 15, 2-3 pm – Good Research Practices and Tools
Thursday June 29, 2-3pm – Grad School 101
Thursday July 13, 2-3 pm – How to Present your Research

UHN Summer Research students will also have the opportunity to participate in virtual presentations to present what they learned this summer. Students are eligible to win prizes for best presentations and an opportunity to present at an person research day and networking session on August 3rd.

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

Summer Training and Research (STAR) Program Learning Sessions Details


UHN is proud to offer numerous awards to support exceptional students performing summer research.

Application closed for Summer 2023.

Other 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 ort.admin@uhnresearch.ca.