Partnership Scholars | Cancer Center Partnership

Partnership Scholars Program


The Partnership Scholars Program offers a paid 10 week summer internship with the possibility of a year-long mentoring program. Scholars will:

  • Be awarded stipends to conduct laboratory, behavioral, or public health research with SDSU and/or UCSD faculty members.
  • Attend workshops at UCSD covering cancer biology, health disparities, ethics and professional development.
  • Have the opportunity to participate in year-round activities at SDSU in conjunction with the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) and Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs to improve their communication skills, build scientific networks, and enhance their ability to attain graduate-level education.

Who is eligible?

We are recruiting academically talented, undergraduate students from SDSU and UCSD who are from groups underrepresented in the bio-medical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. This includes, according to the National Cancer Institute, individuals with disabilities, individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, first generation college students, and those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups such as African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, successful applicants will:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Have at least two years of college experience (those with 2 years of study remaining AND have completed pre-requisites/lower-division coursework in their major field of study are preferred)
  • Be majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, Public Health, Nursing, Sociology, Psychology or a similar area
  • Have a cumulative grade point average commensurate with acceptance to postgraduate degree programs
  • Have an interest in cancer research and solving health disparities
  • Be available to commit to the program for 10 full-time weeks during the summer
  • Have a goal of entering a graduate program in biomedical research science (MS, PhD), professional health (e.g. MD, DO, MSN, RN), public health (MPH), or behavioral health after graduation

How to apply?

Applications are accepted each year until February 24th on a rolling basis. An early application submission is highly recommended. The Partnership Scholars Program will begin mid-May at which time students will be matched with mentors.

To apply for the Partnership Scholars Program please visit the following website:

You must submit A COMPLETE Application Packet, which MUST include ALL of the following:

  • Cancer Research Partnership Scholars Program Application: Download an application with full instructions here. Once the form is filled out, save it in PDF format and email the file along with your other materials as indicated below.
  • Personal Statement describing a) your personal and family background, b) your research interests/experiences, c) future professional goals and d) how these make you a good fit for our program. Limit to one (1) page.
  • Transcript(s): A copy of your unofficial transcript from the SDSU WebPortal or UCSD TritonLink AND Official Transcripts from all other colleges attended.
  • Financial Aid Records: Obtain a copy of your current year Award Statement, if applicable, from (SDSU) or
  • Letters of Recommendation; TWO confidential letters/reference forms, at least one of which is from a faculty member within your major who can address your intellectual and personal suitability for this program. If you have previously participated in a research program, a letter from your supervisor would be very helpful. Download the Confidential Reference Form.

It is your responsibility to advise our office of any change in mailing address, telephone numbers or e-mail addresses.

Please email Jennifer Suggs at attachments of the following:

  1. Completed application in PDF form
  2. Personal statement
  3. Unofficial SDSU or UCSD transcript
  4. Financial aid summary

Letters of recommendation/reference forms must be emailed or mailed directly from the person making the recommendation. 
Official transcripts may be mailed or delivered to:

Sanford Bernstein, Ph.D.
c/o Jennifer Suggs, Partnership Scholars Program Coordinator
Biology Department
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego, CA 92182-4614

If you would like further information, please contact Jennifer Suggs
Partnership Scholars Coordinator