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SickKids Summer Research Program

The SickKids Summer Research Program


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.

The 2019 SSuRe Program activities will run from April 29 - August 13. 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. The only area of the SSuRe Program with restrictions is if the scientist with whom you'll be working is receiving a Lunenfeld Summer Studentship. Scientists 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.

Remuneration and Work Hours

The duration of a research summer student placement can be of any duration (with the exception of the Lunenfeld 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 + 4% vacation as of Summer 2019. 

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

Application Procedure

Some scientists post their available positions on December 21, 2018. The deadline to apply to these centrally posted positions is January 31, 2019. After the deadline, students are advised to contact the scientist(s) directly to inquire if positions remain available. Each scientist will indicate the method by which they wish to receive applications (i.e. mail, fax, email). The method(s) indicated are the only way to apply to each scientist.

Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as most scientists receive a high volume of applications and positions are filled quickly. You must apply directly to each posting via the method of application indicated. Neither the Research Training Centre nor the Human Resources Department will accept summer student applications.

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

You are welcome to reach out to any of our scientific staff at any time to enquire if they are accepting summer students, both on a paid, unpaid for credit, or volunteer basis. (NOTE: enquires 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 Summer Program is not involved in the direct hiring of students.

To apply students must submit the following:

  • SickKids Summer Research Program student application form
  • Resume
  • Current university transcripts
    • 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). 
    • Reference letter should be submitted electronically by the referee to the hiring scientist(s). The reference letter is not to be included in your PDF package to the hiring scientist.
    • The reference letter is to be emailed to the hiring scientist by the Referee, with the subject line: 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.

Please email your application as one PDF file (hard copy of application form completed + resume + transcripts scanned into one PDF file (not larger than 7MB)  minus the reference letter/s) to the hiring scientist(s).

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. All candidates selected for the program will have been contacted by early April of each year.

Application Deadline

Applications sent to this email after January 31 will not be accepted.

For More Information 

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Contact us at summer.program@sickkids.ca