What is a Coordinating Center (CC)?
Students are assigned to a coordinating center after they are accepted into the program. A CC serves as the STEP-UP student’s primary contact for any administrative or programmatic needs during the summer research experience. The coordinating center will provide direct oversight for all student activities.
I do not live close to any of the coordinating centers. Can I still participate in the program?
Yes. Students do not have to live near one of the seven coordinating centers. Students can and are encouraged to conduct research at institutions near their homes or wherever they will be residing during the summer. Students DO NOT have to conduct their research at the coordinating center.
Where do I conduct my research?
Students work with their CC to identify and secure a research institution and research mentor. We recommend that students conduct research at institutions within commuting distances of their homes. Undergraduate students who are interested in conducting research at an institution not in proximity to their home must make their own housing and transportation arrangements.
I do not live close to a college or university. Can I conduct my research at another location?
Yes. Students can conduct research at institutions other than colleges or universities. For example, students can conduct research at hospitals, departments of public health, private research institutions, etc.
Is housing provided?
No. All housing costs must be paid for by the student. STEP-UP does not provide a separate housing stipend.
I cannot afford to commute to the closest research institution. Are transportation stipends offered to cover the transportation cost to and from my research institution?
Students can use funds from their research stipends to cover commuting cost. However, transportation specific stipends are not offered to cover commuting expenses to and from the research institutions.
Are vacations permitted?
No. Vacations are not permitted during the 8 - 10 week research experience. All vacations must be taken before or after the program start and end dates.
Can I take classes or work in the evenings during my research experience if it does not interfere with my time or my research?
Students are expected to conduct research full-time (equivalent to 40 hours per week) in a supervised laboratory or clinical facility. Participation in outside activities and the establishment of a work schedule must be determined by your research mentor.
What are the start and end dates for the program?
The start dates for both the high school and undergraduate program are determined by your coordinating center and research mentor; however, high school students must begin the program no later than 6/12/2017. All students are expected to have a minimum of eight weeks of research experience.
Does my research have to match the NIDDK’s core mission areas?
No. However, we strongly recommend that students pursue research within the NIDDK mission areas of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutrition; or kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Staff at CC will attempt to match students with research mentors within NIDDK core mission areas before matching students with research mentors outside of the NIDDK core mission areas.
Will my research experience match my research interest?
Not necessarily; however, we will do our best to match your research interest with a research mentor and institution related to your interest. If there is a research mentor and/or institution that you are interested in, we strongly recommend that you speak with staff at your assigned coordinating center.