What is the ASPIRE Medical Research Program?

Communities across the nation continue to be impacted by disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes related to social determinants, implicit bias and inadequate access to translational research and culturally competent healthcare. Research experience and training for students from communities affected by health and healthcare disparities are keys to improving workforce diversity and unlocking collaborative solutions to these complex problems.

ASPIRE aims to:

  • Provide research experience for Ohio State undergraduate students from underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups who aspire to become medical doctors, clinician scientists or basic science researchers by earning an MS, MPH, MD, MD/MPH, MD/PhD, or PhD degree.
  • Increase the pool of medical doctors and biomedical scientists from underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups who conduct research that positively impacts the lives of people from communities with inequitable access to healthcare who would benefit from advances in basic science and translation of research.
  • Increase the research experience of undergraduate students from underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups to expand the talent pool of medical doctors, clinician scientists, or basic science researchers seeking solutions to complex problems that cause health and healthcare inequities.

View program flyer

ASPIRE especially encourages applications from:

  • Students from groups underrepresented in medicine and biomedical sciences: African-American or Black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Students with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Students from economically and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds
  • First generation college students
  • Queer, LGBTQIA, Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming
  • Others whose backgrounds and experiences would bring diversity to the field

Additional Criteria

  • Undergraduate students should be in their sophomore or junior year at Ohio State
  • Letter of recommendation from at least one science professor
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA

Program Specifics

Students will begin the program with meetings one or two times a week in a research lab during the spring semester, followed by eight to 10 weeks of experience in a research lab in the summer. The principal investigator (PI) and the student may choose to extend the experience to two summers while working with program coordinator to explore alternate forms of funding.

Undergraduate student learning experiences include the following:

  • Assignment to a principal investigator
  • Assignment to a medical student or biomedical science graduate student mentor
  • Completion of a geographic opportunity map of the neighborhood and city where the undergraduate student lived to help identify social determinants of health
  • Attendance at quarterly Group on Health Equity conferences
  • Attendance at implicit bias awareness and mitigation classroom instruction
  • Membership in a student organization, such as the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) or the Student National Medical Association Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (SNMA-MAPS)

Current ASPIRE Scholars

Current ASPIRE Scholars










For more information call 614-685-9764 or email Aaron.Thomas@osumc.edu.

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