Facebook Pixel Code
SickKids Summer Research Program

The SickKids Summer Research Program

Important Update for the 2020 SSuRe Program:

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the SickKids Summer Research (SSuRe) Program for 2020. We thank you for your ongoing interest in our program and look forward to resuming our activities in 2021.


The SickKids Summer Research (SSuRe) Program provides opportunities for university students to conduct research in a laboratory or clinical setting at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) under the supervision of a Research Institute scientist.

Specific start dates are arranged directly with the hiring scientists. The program includes weekly seminars presented by the Hospital and Research Institute staff members. The final event of the program is the Annual Summer Student Symposium. At the Symposium, most students present the results of their summer projects in poster format while seven outstanding students present orally. Awards are presented to select students with exceptional research projects.

Eligibility Criteria

Any non-graduate research student working under a SickKids scientist for or over the summer may participate in the SSuRe Program activities, regardless of citizenship, area of placement or study, or source of payment. If the scientist with whom you'll be working with is receiving a Lunenfeld Summer Studentship you are required to participate in Symposium Day. Your scientist will advise you if you are a Lunenfeld funded student. 

No minimum grade point average (GPA) is required to be eligible to apply to the program. However, please note that these positions are highly competitive, therefore a strong GPA is advantageous.

Pay and Work Hours

A research summer student placement can be of any duration (with the exception of the Lunenfeld Summer Studentship and the Opportunity Summer Studentship, funded positions which must be 15 weeks) and the start dates and end dates, as well as hours per week, can be negotiated between each student and supervisor. Research Summer Students must be paid the minimum hourly rate of $14.00 + 6% vacation as of Summer 2020.

The program typically runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, this may vary within each scientist's lab.

Application Procedure

Scientists who are actively recruiting students will post their positions on our central posting page on December 20, 2019. The deadline to apply to these centrally posted positions is January 31, 2020.  Each scientist will indicate the method by which they wish to receive applications (i.e. email, mail, etc). The method(s) indicated are the only way to apply to each scientist. The SSuRe Program will not accept OR forward applications or references. 

Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as most scientists receive a high volume of applications and positions are filled quickly.

If you would like to apply to more than one scientist, you must send individual applications to each posting. Each scientist is responsible for selecting their own student.

If there is a scientist you'd like to work with, but does not have posting, you are welcome to reach out them directly to find out if they are accepting summer students, both on a paid, unpaid for credit, or volunteer basis. (NOTE: Inquires should not include an application package). You can find the list of our scientific staff here. You can also view a list of current postings and volunteer opportunities at SickKids here. The SSuRe Program is not involved in hiring process.

To apply to posted positions students must submit the following to each posting:

  • SickKids Summer Research Program student application form
  • CV
  • Current university (or high school transcripts if your university transcripts are not yet available)
    • Official or unofficial transcripts (copies or online versions) are acceptable. Please submit electronically with the rest of your application.
  • One (1) reference letter from an individual familiar with your skills and best able to describe your past and/or current work/school experience. (e.g. professor, high school teacher, previous employer). 
    • Your referee should email reference letter directly to the to the hiring scientist(s) and include the subject line: 2020 SSuRe Program Reference Letter -<Candidate’s Last Name>, <First Name>
    • There are no specific criteria the referee should address in the reference letter, but in general, such letters should describe a student's education background, academic performance, relevant research training or work experience, characteristics and abilities. The letter should also highlight the student's achievements to date.

Due to the large volume of applications received, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Each scientist will conduct interviews and make final selections independently.  Successful candidates will have been contacted by early April of each year. If you have not heard from the posting, contact the hiring scientist directly. 

For more information 

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Contact us at summer.program@sickkids.ca