International Research Opportunity in Biomedical or Behavioral Science!

Program Description

The Neuroscience International Program offers international research opportunities to qualified minority undergraduates.  The objective is to increase the awareness of international research issues and prospects, and acquaint students with a variety of careers in research, especially related to U.S. minority health problems.  The program provides round-trip airfare to the destination country, full tuition payment for two months (June, July) of research training in a foreign laboratory, room and board at the foreign institution, a monthly stipend for living expenses, and student health insurance for the duration of the program.  The students are expected to maintain a full-time work schedule (avg. 40 hours/week).  This time may include library work, lectures, etc.  There is no provision for over-time compensation.  Students will be required to submit a report of their research at the end of the training period.  There are also opportunities to present research work at conferences.  We currently have programs in:
FRANCE – Dr. Michel Salzet focuses on neuroimmunology & proteomics He directs a laboratory and offices at the University of Science and Technology of Lille in Lille, France.
DENMARK – Dr. Else Tønnesen focuses on immunological feasibility experiments on organ transport. She maintains a laboratory at the Århus University Hospital in Århus, Denmark.

SPAIN – Dr. Alfonso Carrascosa focuses on microbiology, particularly pathogens involved in fermentation. He is the Director of the Microbiology department at the Institute of Industrial Fermentations in Madrid, Spain.
–  Dr. Alberto Ferrus focuses on developmental neurobiology, particularly synapse and muscle regulation. He is the Director of the Cajal Institute in Madrid, Spain
– Dr. Cristina Suñol Esquirol is the director of the Biomedical Research Institute of Barcelona, Spain.  The focus of her lab is the study of neural mechanisms involved in the neurotoxicity of environmental toxicants of relevance for the public health by using in vitro neural systems.
ENGLAND – Dr. Lindy Holden-Dye directs a neurobiology laboratory at the University of Southampton, in England, and Dr. Robert J. Walker, is a professor emeritus at the University of Southampton. Together, they study neuronal communication in nematodes.

Eligibility and Qualifications

bullet Citizenship

Trainees must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).  Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to participate in the MHIRT Program.

bullet Health Disparity Populations 

Trainees must be from a health disparity population as determined by the Director, NCMHD, in consultation with the Director, AHRQ.  For the purposes of this program, health disparity populations are defined as African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and the medically underserved (i.e., socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas).

This program will recruit trainees who could most benefit from a financially supported opportunity for an international scientific research experience, and who are most likely to pursue basic science, clinical, biomedical or behavioral health research careers that will contribute ultimately to the elimination of health disparities in the U.S. and between populations living in developing countries and the U.S.

bullet Qualifications

Undergraduate participants should have completed approximately two years of coursework in a major related to biomedical or behavioral science, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and/or show other evidence of exceptional scientific interest and talent.  Previous undergraduate research experience is highly recommended before entering the MHIRT program.  Students will be required to show documented proof of their eligibility (i.e., proof of citizenship/residency, transcripts).

Priority is given to students of SUNY College at Old Westbury and this program’s affiliates (other SUNY institutions).  Students must have a valid passport.  Attendance will be required at several meetings/seminars held at the campus of SUNY College at Old Westbury for the purpose of educating students in bioethics and responsible research.


Complete applications must be submitted by February 15th of the year of the trip, to be eligible.  You may print out the application through the link below, or you may request an application by phone, mail, or fax (see our contact page).   Please be sure that all of the following are included when you return your application package:


Completed Application Form (Printable PDF form)
You will need Get Acrobat Reader to view and print this form. 


Documentation of Citizenship/Residency Status


Copy of most recent academic transcripts


Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

Evaluations and the final decisions will be made based upon the student’s academic record, including GPA and relevant coursework, the compatibleness of the student’s goals with the potential research projects, prior research experience or strong evidence of interest in research, likelihood that the student will pursue a biomedical/behavioral research career, and other criteria such as languages spoken, faculty recommendations, special skills, etc.


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