School of Molecular
and Theoretical Biology

Zimin Foundation SMTB Alumni Summer Research Program

In 2017, the School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology thanks to the support of the Zimin Foundation started the Zimin Foundation - SMTB Alumni Summer Research Program, a summer internship program for SMTB alumni that were accepted to SMTB through the Russian-speaking admission process. The purpose of the Program is to encourage SMTB alumni to diversify their research experiences. Crucially, by traveling to top laboratories around the world the participating alumni can get an understanding of how a good laboratory operates, start networking with active researchers, and acquire the support of mentors in their fields improving their chances for further advancement of their career in scientific research.

ZF-SMTB Alumni Summer Research Program provides an opportunity for up to ten SMTB Alumni to join top laboratories in the Life Sciences and related disciplines for a period of 1-3 months in the summer. The SMTB grant for undergraduate research will fund internships in laboratories around the world in the broadly defined field of molecular and theoretical biology and related disciplines. Strong preference will be given to applications for summer research internships in countries with a strong research infrastructure.

The grant covers the cost of an economy return ticket to the host laboratory and living expenses for up to three months. Depending on the agreement of the participant with the host lab, the duration of the internship can be from one to three months and should be held in the summer.

Who is eligible to apply

Alumni that were accepted to SMTB through the competitive admission process that was carried out in Russian and are currently in the course their undergraduate studies are eligible to apply.

SMTB alumni can apply more than once as long as they are in the course of their undergraduate studies.

How to apply

The call is in English. Participants should reach an agreement with any laboratory they are interested in joining for an internship of 1-3 months in the summer. Then they apply for the program. The call is announced in the SMTB Alumni Google group. If you are an SMTB alumnus but do not receive notifications from this Google group, please let us know at SMTB email.

The application consists of:

  1. A statement from the host laboratory acknowledging the acceptance of the student and the timeframe of the internship. We require that applicants reach an understanding with the host laboratory that the laboratory will be willing to accept the applicant in case of a favorable decision for the grant through the ZF - SMTB Alumni Summer Research Program.
  2. Please ask the PI of the host laboratory to send a confirmation to the Program email ( acknowledging that the laboratory will be willing to host you for the duration of the summer internship and that the host institution will help you with the necessary documentation for obtaining a visa.

  3. A filled out Application Form.
  4. A Research Statement letter from the applicant describing the reason for selecting the host laboratory and the intended work to be carried out over the summer (part of the Application Form).
  5. Optional: a CV of the applicant in English attached to the Application Form.

Evaluation Process

The selection committee carefully evaluates all aspects of the applications we receive. It has four members: Liza Leshchiner (Harvard University, Boston) presiding and Vladimir Gelfand (Northwestern University, Chicago), Egor Bazykin (Skoltech University, Moscow) and Fyodor Kondrashov (IST, Austria) participating in the selection procedure.

The School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology does not discriminate, in the selection process or otherwise, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, disability or any other potentially discriminatory factors or circumstances.


After the selection process all the participants will receive an email with the results. The candidates selected to receive the scholarship will also receive an official letter indicating the exact amount of the grant. This amount will be determined according to the exact length of the internship and the expected living costs in the city of the host laboratory as calculated by commonly used cost of living indices.

The participants of the program shall send a short scientific report with the results of their work not later than two weeks after the internship. The report should be sent to the Program email.

ZF-SMTB Alumni Summer Research Program 2017

In 2017 nine alumni were selected to receive the scholarship. They worked in labs of Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Boston), Harvard Medical School (Boston), Northwestern University (Chicago), the University of Cambridge, Centre for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona), the George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), the University of Calgary, and the Genome Institute of Singapore.

ZF-SMTB Alumni Summer Research Program 2018

In 2018 ten participants of the program worked in labs of Harvard University (Boston), Harvard Medical School (Boston), the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI, San Diego), the Rockefeller University (New York), Leiden University Medical Centre, the Institute of Science and Technology (Vienna), and Vanderbilt University (Nashville).