Is this program a good fit for me?

The part-time program is for undergraduate students within 1-2 years of graduation and is intended to be compatible alongside students’ summer research projects or internships. Students from under-represented minority groups, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

What can I expect?

Through hands-on research experience, the program trains participants in the study and innovation of biomedical optics for improving human health and advancing biological sciences. Through living arrangements and a variety of activities, Summer Institute students develop a network of peers. They also receive guidance from course instructors and lab mentors. Students are challenged to explore ways to conduct research responsibly and to achieve the skills to communicate their research findings effectively. At the end of the summer, students present their work to the Biomedical Optics mentors at a conference.

What are the features of the ten weeks long program include?

Interactive Lessons Covering Aspects of Biomedical Optics:

  • Learn about fluorescence imaging, light-tissue interaction, photochemistry, and more, from experts at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine    

  • Explore applications of light in medicine through individual and group projects (e.g., image analysis, literature exploration)

Career-Focused Sessions:

  • Hear from Harvard-MIT graduate students and MGH residents
  • Prepare to write competitive applications for graduate or medical school
  • Speak one-on-one with a mentor from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine


  • $5,000 stipend
  • Dormitory housing
  • Travel support

Additional Benefits:

  • Network with students from across the US and internationally
  • Join fun activities (e.g., Red Sox game at Fenway)
  • Compete for awards

Key Dates:

NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for 2024 but typical timeline

  • Application deadline: mid-January (primary)
    [post-deadline applications will be considered until decision is made]

  • Admission finalized: ~ by end of February
  • Program Duration: early June - mid-August
  • Certificate ceremony: last day of program (mid-August)

Learn More:


Interested in applying? Learn about the application process here.


Please check back in fall 2024 for information about summer 2025

Student in lab Summer 2018

Taylor Dent works in the lab during the 2018 Biomedical Optics Summer Institute.