The SUMR program is an endeavor by the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) and the Health Care Systems Department of the Wharton School to provide underrepresented minority undergraduate students, or anyone who is interestedin an opportunity to explore the exciting field of health services research.

Who Is Eligible?
Program participants will be expected to have an interest in health care and strong quantitative skills. Candidates from minority groups that are underrepresented in the field of health services research (African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander) are particularly encouraged to apply. Prospective participants do not have to make a commitment in advance to attend graduate school in order to be accepted into the program, but an academic or research career should be something they might consider. A committee of Penn faculty selects each year's SUMR scholars from the highly competitive applicant pool.

What Do SUMR Scholars Do?
  • Work with a Penn faculty mentor on a health services research project of the student's choice
  • Gain practical advice about graduate school opportunities and assistance with the graduate school application process, including tuition assistance for the GRE
  • Attend weekly lunch meetings with program staff and Penn faculty to discuss their projects and learn more about the broad range of health services research in which Penn faculty are engaged
  • Present a final presentation on mentored health services research project at the SUMR Research Symposium
  • Attend two health services research related academic conferences as a group, all expenses paid.
  • Take part in various extracurricular activities/social functions sponsored by the SUMR program. (Link to SUMR Activities)
Time Commitment and Compensation

SUMR scholars earn a stipend of $1200 per month during the summer months for a time commitment of 20 hours per week. The students work with their mentors to devise a schedule that can be flexible to work around other employment.

How to Apply

The SUMR program application form is available online.

For More Information

Contact the Program Director, Joanne Levy, MBA, at

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