CURE Program

CURE (Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences) is a mentored research experience augmented with professional development, career advisement, networking opportunities, and presentations of research findings to a world-renowned scientific community.

Summer 2017 application available here!


The CURE program introduces high school and college students from underrepresented populations to the world of cancer research by placing them in real research settings at local cancer research institutions. Our goal is to encourage students to pursue future careers in the biosciences—particularly cancer research—giving practical meaning to academic course work. At the same time, students make a valuable contribution to the DF/HCC research mission. By participating in a program at DF/HCC—an NCI comprehensive cancer center with more than 1100 researchers across seven Harvard institutions—students will learn from experts who are devoted to preventing, treating and curing cancer. Each year, a number of promising students are selected for this unique opportunity to expand and extend their interest in basic, clinical, or population science cancer research or nursing research.


CURE student Thomas Romero and  Dr. Shu-Ching Huang, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

CURE student Thomas Romero and Dr. Shu-Ching Huang, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

What will I gain from taking part in CURE?

You will work in a cancer research environment, getting hands-on experience you will not find in any classroom. You will spend time alongside scientists and use state-of-the-art technology. You will learn what a research career is really like, develop a wide range of skills, and take part in groundbreaking cancer discoveries that change the world, one experiment at a time.

You will be assigned your own mentor and advisor, who will oversee your research and offer guidance. In addition to working on a research project, you will benefit from program activities such as:

  • Attending scientific research and professional development seminars
  • Comprehensive orientation, including a 2-day training session on skills related to students’ research environments
  • Journal club that will assist with navigating scientific papers
  • Outings that highlight the relationships between academia and industry
  • Networking and social events
  • Preparation of an abstract and final presentation, helping to develop your writing, speaking, and presentation skills

The 2-year CURE program

PREREQUISITE: Students must successfully complete a summer in CURE, as detailed above, before being eligible for the 2-year CURE program. At the end of the summer, students are invited to indicate their interest in joining the 2-year program.

The 2-year CURE program provides students with a full-time mentored research experience during the first summer, followed by a part-time continuum of activities throughout the academic year. Students then return to a full-time mentored research experience the following summer and complete the program during the second academic year.

During the academic year, students are required to attend meetings twice a month, at which they participate in seminars on professional development and science research. Students give presentations on any ongoing research and participate in journal club discussions on current research in science, medicine and health. Continuing to work in the research environment is optional, as emphasis is placed on academic requirements.

Sample schedule of events during the academic year:

Professional Development Seminars: Roles of Scientists in Our Society
Interviewing Skills
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Guest Lectures: Bioinformatics in Research
Cancer and Immunology
Bringing Genomic Advances to the Clinic

Journal Club: Survival of Prostate Cancer by Income
New Target for Tumor Angiogenesis