Center Updates

2023 PCEN Summer Research Scholars Program

The Washington University Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology (WU PCEN) is pleased to request applications for our 2023 Summer Research Scholars Program. This program aims to inspire future leaders in pediatric kidney disease research by engaging students in meaningful research and clinical experiences in kidney development, biology, cutting-edge technologies, preclinical model systems and pediatric nephrology.

The program is open to undergraduate, post-graduate, or medical students*. Start and end dates are flexible as academic schedules may vary for each student; however, an 8 week commitment is required. Students will work with a mentor on a research project, and will have opportunities for didactic training and clinical shadowing in nephrology. Students will also participate in seminars about research and careers in medicine, and will take one or more lecture series in relevant fields.

Students will receive a $4000 stipend. Please note: Housing is not provided as a part of the program. A small stipend towards housing MAY be available in addition and will be determined on availability of funds near the start of the program.  For this stipend, we will prioritize applicants from underrepresented racial/ethnic group or disadvantaged background.

The program structure includes:

Practical research training and mentorship

  • Responsible conduct of research training (including, as applicable to the research project: human subjects research, animal care and use in research, laboratory safety)
  • Full-time research experience on a clinical, translational or basic science project under the mentorship of a PCEN investigator
  • Weekly meetings with PCEN faculty mentor
  • Preparation of an abstract and/or manuscript, as appropriate
  • Oral presentation of research findings to the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the end of the program

Didactic training

  • Participation in Pediatric Nephrology Fellow’s Core Curriculum weekly lecture series provides exposure to core clinical pediatric nephrology topics and opportunities to interact with pediatric nephrology fellows
  • Research Seminars: students will participate in weekly student led seminars or lab meetings as appropriate based on their research project and mentor. Depending on the number of students, this may include a student run journal club and discussion on research presentations.
  • Online Instruction: Students will have access to various online training in kidney development, single cell genomics, patient recruitment and sample processing, disease models, etc.

Clinical shadowing in pediatric nephrology

  • Observe pediatric nephrology clinic once per week
  • Attend inpatient rounds once per week


Participants must be currently enrolled in or recently graduated from an accredited college or university. For foreign student applicants eligibility may need to be determined based on visa regulations.

Pre-employment screens

A criminal background check and a hair sample drug screen may be required.

TB test + COVID & flu vaccinations

Per WashU COVID -19 vaccination policy, all students must provide documentation of TB test results within the last year and an immunization record to prove complete COVID and influenza vaccinations before the program start date. Program participants must adhere to all WashU requirements for being on campus.

COVID-19 NOTE: The program may be offered in-person, hybrid, or fully virtual based on coronavirus-related restrictions in summer 2023. Most clinical research projects can be offered as hybrid or virtual, but most basic science and translational research projects will only be possible if in-person student activities are permitted. Classes and seminars are all available virtually, and some clinical shadowing is possible using telehealth or video conferencing.

How to apply

Applications for the Summer Scholars Program are open.  Apply today!

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2023


Contact Holley Kelly, administrative manager, or Dr. Sanjay Jain/Vikas Dharnidharka, program directors via the email address

Sample Schedule

Actual work hours are flexible, but a full-time (40 hours per week) commitment is expected. To ensure maximum productivity and engagement with your mentor and research staff, the majority (>70%) of the working hours are expected to be during regular business hours Monday through Friday.

Scientific seminars and symposia

The WU PCEN strives to foster opportunities for innovative multidisciplinary collaborations by

  • Hosting an annual joint Nephrology Research Seminar
  • Participating in the National O’Brien Centers Kidney Seminars (NOCKS) to promote regular scientific interactions between participating centers. The  schedule of upcoming events and links to register are available.
  • Engaging with the community and patient interest groups by implementing an annual Pediatric Kidney Disease Symposium and virtual education sessions.