Didactic coursework

In preparation for the hands-on research experience, participants enroll in a three-credit course that covers the fundamentals of clinical research, including topics such as research methodologies, designing outcomes, and analysis of clinical data. Trainees are expected to complete all work assigned in the courses, perform well on chapter quizzes, and to actively participate in class discussions. Textbooks are provided.

Full-time clinical research

ASPIRE students are required to pursue their research training full-time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, throughout the duration of the program. Students must complete no less than 8 weeks of full-time clinical research as active members of their mentor’s research team. ASPIRE students work alongside experienced researchers. During this time, students engage in lab meetings, presentations, and may conduct some independent research assigned by their mentors. Students gain insight into the process of conducting research and become part of the collaborative process of sharing techniques, new endeavors, and successful investigative outcomes.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Students must complete training in the Responsible Conduct of Research. ASPIRE provides all students with access to seminars and/or coursework that must be successfully completed prior to the start of the summer session in order to fulfill this requirement.

Friday Seminar Series

All participants are required to attend a one-hour summer research seminar held every Friday throughout the duration of the program.

Final abstracts & presentations

ASPIRE students complete an abstract and give an oral presentation on the research conducted during the program.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

We plan to offer an in-person experience for summer 2023. Proof of vaccination will be required per WashU COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and ASPIRE program participants must adhere to all WashU requirements for being on campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have many questions about the ASPIRE program. Please review some of our frequently asked questions.