In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Biomedical Optics Summer Institute will be remote.


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 eight 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

Additional Benefits:

  • Network with students from across the US and internationally
  • Join fun activities (e.g., virtual talent show)
  • Compete for awards

Key Dates:

  • Application deadline: April 7, 2021

  • Admission finalized: April 30, 2021
  • Mentor-mentee matching: May 20, 2021
  • Program Duration: June 21 to August 12, 2021
  • Certificate ceremony: August 12, 2021

Weekly Meeting Times:

  • Tuesday, 11AM -12:30 PM ET, 8-9:30 AM PT, 12-1:30 AM (East Asia)
  • Thursday, 7-9:30 PM ET, 4-6:30 PM PT, 8-10:30 AM (East Asia)

Learn More:

•    Email: BioOpticsSummerInstitute [at]

Interested in applying? Learn about the application process here.

Student in lab Summer 2018

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