Amgen Scholars Program

Thank you to the Amgen Foundation and the Global Amgen Scholars Program​ for providing funding and administrative assistance for the DBBS Amgen Scholars Program.

Note: The application for the 2023 cohort has closed. The application for the 2024 cohort will open in Fall 2023.

The Amgen Scholars Program at the Vagelos Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) at Washington University in St. Louis prepares accepted students to apply to top-tier graduate and professional schools by fostering an understanding of the trajectory of a career in research.

Accepted students will participate in a 10-week intensive laboratory research experience, where they will work closely with a faculty mentor on a project. Students will also participate in the signature component of the summer program, the Amgen Scholars U.S. Symposium. Held in California, the symposium provides students a valuable opportunity to hear from leading scientists working in industry and academia, and to network with other Amgen Scholars from across the country. The program concludes with a poster competition at Washington University in St. Louis where Scholars present on their summer projects.

Amgen Scholars receive housing and travel expenses as well as a generous stipend. Applicants from R-2 and below schools and underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Summer 2023 Cohort Timeline
Note: The application for the 2023 cohort has closed. The application for the 2024 cohort will open in Fall 2023.

October 15, 2022: Application opens for 2023 cohort
February 1, 2023: Application deadline
March 1, 2023: Notification of admission decision begins
May 31 – August 4, 2023: Participation in 10-week laboratory experience


Applicants must be:

  • U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Undergraduate students enrolled in accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States or U.S. territories
  • Sophomores with four (4) quarters or three (3) semesters of college experience, juniors, or non-graduating seniors
  • Cumulative 3.2 GPA or above
  • A strong interest in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

The Amgen Scholars Program selects participants based on academic achievement, leadership and interest in the pursuit of a career in science. We especially encourage applications from individuals who come from rural or inner-city areas and individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research — specifically African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, women and those with disabilities.

Other Amgen sites

The Amgen Scholars Program provides exciting summer laboratory experience in biomedical research for undergraduate students at 13 of the nation’s leading research institutions. All sites have different application guidelines and program activities. Visit the Amgen Scholars Program website to learn more about the host institutions for this valuable summer opportunity.

Application requirements

The information available from the website will guide you through the application process. We recommend that you complete all of the components of your application as early as possible to ensure all materials are received prior to the deadline.

Please feel free to contact us at​ if you have any questions after reviewing the application instructions.​

Frequently asked questions

Application and participation questions

What is the Amgen Scholars Program?

The Amgen Scholars Program provides hundreds of undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on summer research experience at some of the world’s leading institutions. There are 24 program sites throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia. Each site has its own application and you can apply to participate at multiple program sites.

I am an international student. Can I apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?

No. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident currently enrolled in a college or university in the U.S., Puerto Rico or other U.S. territory. However, international students currently enrolled as WUSTL undergraduates can apply to the Vagelos Undergraduate Research Fellowship, another DBBS summer research program.

If my school is on the quarter system, will I still be allowed to participate?

Students accepted into the program are allowed to join us up to one week after the program has begun. Please be advised that your stipend will be prorated accordingly.

Can past Amgen Scholars apply for this program?

No. Past Amgen Scholars are ineligible for this opportunity.​

If I am a former community college student and have transferred to a four-year college or university, am I eligible to apply?

Yes. If you are enrolled in a four-year college or university when you apply, you are eligible.​

Must I have prior research experience to apply?

No. Prior research experience is not required.​

When will I know if I am accepted into the WUSTL Amgen Scholars Program?

Notifications will be sent out by April 1st.

Lab selection questions

How many summer positions are available in the Amgen Scholars Program at Washington University in St. Louis?

There are 21 positions​.

Will I be allowed to select a specific faculty with whom to work?

Yes. After you have accepted our offer of admission into the program you will be sent a list of potential faculty mentors and a description of their work. We ask that you provide us with your top three choices. Most participants are placed in their first, second or third choice faculty selection. In the event we cannot accommodate your top three choices we will notify you with other suggestions.​

Travel/housing/meals/stipend questions

Is air travel to and from St. Louis provided?

Yes. We will book and pay for your flight to and from St. Louis through our campus travel agency. Participants who drive will be reimbursed for mileage or the equivalent of an airline ticket, whichever is the lowest cost.

Is ground travel provided to and from the Washington University campus?

Yes. We will provide a shuttle to pick you up from the airport and take you back on the last day of the program.​

What type of housing is offered?

Amgen Scholars will be housed on the Danforth Campus, in our undergraduate dorms and each scholar will have their own room.​

Are meals provided?

A meal card will be provided to each scholar to help supplement food costs​.

How much is the stipend?

The stipend of $4200 will be paid in installments. The first disbursement will be after the first week of the program; another will be made at the end of June and the final installment will be at the end of the program prior to your departure.

Vagelos Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Note: The application for the 2023 cohort has closed. The application for the 2024 cohort will open in Fall 2023.

The Vagelos Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a unique opportunity for current Washington University undergraduate students to gain hands-on, graduate-level laboratory research experience in biology and biomedical sciences working under the supervision of School of Medicine faculty.

Fellows will first complete a spring course covering research skills and other relevant topics, including latest research and career lessons. After successful course completion, Fellows will conduct laboratory research under the guidance of a faculty mentor over the summer. Upon completion of the program, Fellows may attend exclusive career development workshops and/or serve as peer mentors to future cohorts.​ Students from underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Spring 2024 Cohort Timeline

October 17, 2023: Application opens for 2024 cohort
November 17, 2023: Application deadline
Early January 2024: Notification of admission decision
Spring 2024: Participation in 2-credit course (BIOL 2121)
Summer 2024: Conduct lab research with faculty mentor​

  • Open to current Washington University freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors only. Seniors who will graduate before the end of the program are not eligible to participate.
  • ​Students must have a strong interest pursuing a career in biology and/or biomedical sciences research. Students are not required to have previous research experience.
  • Applicants should also possess the following characteristics:
    • Academic excellence
    • Collaborative mindset
    • Professional demeanor
    • Dedication to service
    • Leadership potential
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States over the summer
  • Students from underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply
Application requirements
  • Unofficial college transcript(s)
  • Indicate whether you have chosen a lab already (not required)
  • Acknowledge commitment to Spring 2023 course:
    • 2 credit hours
    • Every Tuesday, 4-6pm
    • Attendance is mandatory
  • Short essay prompts (200-word limit each):
    • Briefly describe any previous experience you have in a research environment.
    • Briefly describe your motivation for applying to the Vagelos Fellows program. What do you wish to accomplish with this experience?
    • What excites you most about participating in the Vagelos Fellows program?
    • What are your career aspirations and how do you think this experience will better prepare you for those goals?

​For more information about our summer undergraduate research programs, contact​.

Explore additional summer research programs offered by Washington University. ≫

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University’s Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University, Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.​