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Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP)

A program specifically for Native Americans, designed by Native Americans

No previous research experience or science background is required to apply for FDSRP, although a basic understanding of life sciences and chemistry is recommended. The program will provide all necessary equipment and training.

Our History | The Program | Research | Important Dates | Contacts | Our Vision|

Our History

In 1992, Native medical students began to discuss the possibility of bringing American Indian undergraduate students to Harvard Medical School (HMS) to engage in research.

While similar programs have recently been geared towards increasing the number of minority students entering medical and graduate schools, American Indians have never been adequately represented in these groups.

American Indians remain the minority of minorities.

To respond to this exclusion, FDSRP began in 1994 and has had 44 participants thus far. The program is run by medical students and members of the Native American Health Organization at Harvard Medical School.

Today, the program hosts 10 participants each summer.

The Program

Participants of FDSRP will engage in a full-time research program at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in Boston, Massachusetts. The program runs for approximately eight weeks from late June to late August.

Students will be provided with transportation from their homes to Boston for the summer and with accommodation for the length of the program. They will also be given a stipend for the summer to help offset costs.

At the end of the summer, participants will share their expereinces and research in a short presentation to other members of the program and to Faculty members of HMS.

Participants will also be given other opportunities to explore their interests. Past students have shadowed doctors, spent shifts in an emergency room, and spent mornings with a surgical team in an operating room.

The summer will be filled with extracurricular activities to allow students to enjoy the Boston area and develop a sense of community with others at the medical school. In past years activities included trips to Cape Cod, Boston Harbour Cruises and many, many cookouts.


In past years, Native students participating in FDSRP have conducted research in many exciting fields of medicine. These include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Immune System Development, Nervous Tissue Regeneration and Pain Processing Pathways.

Important Dates

Applications must be postmarked by this date

Early to Mid April, 2000 (Tentative)
Applicants will be informed of decisions

June 23, 2000 (Tentative)
Participants arrive at Harvard Medical School

August 19, 2000 (Tentative)
Participants depart Harvard Medical School


For more information and applications, please contact:

Four Directions Summer Research Program
Harvard Medical School
260 Longwood Avenue, MEC 435
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 432-4980
(800) 367-9019 ext. 2

Ashleigh Guadagnolo
(617) 541-5890

Walter Lech

Robert Ruelaz

Patrick Linson
(617) 983-2933

Our Vision

Our vision is simple...
that a handful of talented individuals will leave Harvard Medical School (HMS) with new skills, experiences and knowledge that they can use to help themselves, their communities, and future generations of Native Peoples from all of the Four Directions.

One of the most important goals of the program is to allow participants to become familiar with the environment of Harvard Medical School. By welcoming students into the small Native community here at HMS we hope to foster their interest in pursuing a medical or graduate education at HMS - or anywhere else - if they so choose.


You may contact our office (see contact information above) to request a 2000 FDSRP application.
To download a 2000 FDSRP application click

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Page maintained by David Meredith, meredith@sfsu.edu. Created: 1/22/01 Updated: 02/02/01