Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research (CanSUR)

2023 CanSUR students posing for a picture on the steps in front of the WRB

Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research (CanSUR) is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program meant to generate excitement in highly motivated undergraduates to pursue a future in cancer research and prepare them for the next stage of their careers.

The CanSUR Program supports 40 undergraduates for a 10-week period from June through August to work in labs with Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Undergraduates are accepted from colleges and universities nationwide. Students receive $5,000 stipends for the program. Housing and travel allowances are available for select appointees.

Creating a Diverse Cancer Workforce 

Led by Ruth Keri, PhD, the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Program aims to expand diversity in the cancer research workforce by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical field. Each year, eight CanSUR scholars are selected as ACS-DICR interns. ACS-DICR interns participate in additional longitudinal activities focusing on health disparities, prevention, biology, therapy, and survivorship that reinforce their understanding of cancer research and career development.

Summer 2023 students interviewed Cleveland community members and healthcare professionals to create a short video about making clinical trials accessible for all. Watch it here!

Learn more about the ACS-DICR Program at the ACS Website.

Key Components

Week One Cancer Immersion

To ensure that all trainees start out with a solid understanding of cancer biology and the current state of cancer research, week one 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 Case CCC). Social interactions allow 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 members’ laboratories.

Weekly Scientific and Career Enrichment Lunches

Scholars have the opportunity to discuss new advances in cancer research and cutting-edge technology. Scholars gain critical insight into professional development, including how to communicate and present research findings, guidance on preparing 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 career opportunities in academia (PhD and MD/PhD paths), medicine, community outreach, and industry.

CanSUR Symposium

Scholars present their research at a CanSUR Symposium during the final week of the program. 


Applications are now closed.


Please contact Education Program Manager Gena Richmann at with questions.

CanSUR students sitting in the WRB auditorium
2023 CanSUR Symposium

Our scholars presented group research projects at our CanSUR Symposium, where the students became the teachers!