Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

1) How do I apply?
The application will become available online mid-November. Once you submit the application, you will receive a login ID and password that will allow you to verify that your recommendations have been submitted. We do not accept paper applications.

2) I am an international student. Can I apply?
No. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents at four-year colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territory are eligible.

3) I am a freshman but have enough credits to be considered a sophomore. Can I apply?
No. Only students in their second year, third year, and non-graduating fourth year are eligible to apply.

4) I am a fourth year student graduating in May. Can I apply?
No. Only students continuing their undergraduate studies in the fall directly following their participation in Amgen Scholars may apply.

5) What is the minimum GPA to be considered for the program?
You must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA to be eligible.

6) Are letters of recommendation required?
Yes. We require two letters of recommendation to be submitted through the application website. Please provide the email addresses for two recommendation-writers in your application. Once you submit the application, an email will automatically be sent to each person providing further instructions. Do not send recommendation letters through the mail; we only accept letters in electronic format. Both letters must be received by the application deadline.

7) Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
While we do not stipulate who should write your letters, given the academic emphasis of this program, professors, especially those with whom you've worked in a lab, provide more relevant letters than employers or high school teachers.

8) Is an official transcript required?
Yes. Please send an official transcript to:
Dr. Alice Heicklen
MC2454
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10027

9) Should I submit a transcript from each university that I have attended?
Yes. In order to gain a comprehensive view of your academic ability, we require a transcript from each university.

10) What if I have never done research before?
The Amgen Scholars Program is open to undergraduates with or without an actual research background. All applicants should be able to demonstrate a keen interest in doing investigative work in the sciences.

11) What type of research will I be conducting in the lab?
The scope of your summer project highly depends upon the lab you're in. Browse the list of mentors to explore the different areas of research offered by the program.

12) My university runs on the quarter system, and my finals do not end until after the Amgen Scholars Program begins on May 28. Am I still eligible to participate?
Yes; however, upon your acceptance, you must provide a letter from the registrar stating that your final exam schedule conflicts with the program start date. In addition, you must complete the full 10 weeks of research and will have to make up any time missed at the end of the program. You will also have to complete the safety certification after your arrival since you will miss the group safety training at the start of the program.

13) Will housing be provided during my stay in New York?
Yes. The program covers the cost of housing. Amgen students will live together in Columbia housing near the Morningside Heights campus.

14) Will I have a roommate?
Yes. Housing for Amgen students consists of double-occupancy rooms.

15) Are meals covered by the program?
Other than during the Amgen Scholars Symposium in California and at certain social events, students must pay for the cost of food.

16) What is Flex?
Flex is a dollar-for-dollar declining balance account accessed through your Columbia University ID card. Flex dollars can be used at participating Flex locations, which include grocery, drug and hardware stores as well as restaurants in the Columbia University area.

17) How many students are accepted into the Columbia/ Barnard Amgen Program?
Up to 30 students will be accepted into the program. Approximately half of these will be Columbia/ Barnard students and half from other universities.

18) Is transportation provided to and from New York?
Yes. The program covers the cost of travel to and from the program.

19) Can I take a summer course or work at a part-time job during the 10 weeks?
No. The Amgen Scholars Program provides an opportunity for you to dedicate 100% of your time to laboratory research. Outside commitments detract from the quality of your work and your overall summer research experience; therefore, summer jobs, volunteerships, and coursework are not permitted.

20) I received an email stating that a mentor was interested in my application; does this mean that I have been accepted into the program?
No. If you receive an email from the program coordinator or potential mentor, this does not guarantee your acceptance into the program. This email is only a preliminary part of the selection process, and your application must pass several more hurdles before we can officially offer you the fellowship.

21) When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?
By the end of March.

More questions? Contact us at amgen@biology.columbia.edu