Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research (CanSUR)

The goal of the Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research program is to generate excitement for a future career in cancer research in highly motivated undergraduates and help them prepare for the next stage of their careers.

The CanSUR Program supports 32 undergraduates for a 10-week period (June through August) each summer. Undergraduates will be accepted from colleges and universities from across the country to work with one of 82 Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) researchers. Stipends of $4,000 are provided for the 10-week program. Housing and travel allowances are available for select appointees.

2020 Program Update

In the best interest of public safety, the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine will not allow undergraduates from other universities to participate in on-campus research this summer, nor will CWRU undergraduates be allowed to participate in on-campus research until at least August 1. Given this guidance, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center regrets to announce that the 2020 CanSUR program is canceled in its entirety.

This year, we selected 32 exceptional undergraduates from over 200 applications from 77 schools, including schools in Canada and Puerto Rico, and were greatly looking forward to welcoming our second class of CanSUR scholars. While this cancelation is disappointing, we wish that everyone and their families remain safe during this unprecedented time of concern. Scholars selected for the 2020 program are invited to apply again next year should the program still align with their career plans, as they will undoubtedly remain highly competitive students.

Key Components

Week 1 Cancer Immersion

To ensure that all trainees start-out with a solid understanding of cancer biology and the current state of cancer research, week 1 is devoted to interactive cancer research lectures (The fundamentals of Cancer Biology, Current Cancer Therapies, Cancer Research Discovery Techniques, and tours of the state-of-the-art research facilities available at the Case CCC). Social interactions will allow the students to get to know each other, learn how to work in teams, and establish critical networking skills.

Mentored Research Experience

Scholars participate in a hands-on, cancer research experience including project development, execution, interpretation, and reporting of research results in select Case CCC member’s laboratory.

Weekly Scientific and Career Enrichment Lunches

Scholars have the opportunity to discuss new advances in cancer research and cutting-edge technology. Scholars will gain critical insight into professional development, including how to communicate and present research findings, guidance on how to prepare graduate/medical school applications, leadership training, and responsible conduct in research, among other topics.

Cancer Career Opportunities Dinner

Scholars enjoy a meal with PhD and MD students, postdoctoral scholars, and hematology/oncology residents and fellows while learning about diverse cancer careers opportunities in academia (PhD and MD/PhD paths), medicine, community outreach, and industry, among others.

CanSUR Scholars’ Symposium

Scholars will present their research at a CanSUR Program research symposium during the final week of the program. 


Applications are not being accepted at this time.


Please contact Education Program Manager Gena Richmann at