Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

Gateways to the Laboratory Summer Program

Gateways to The Laboratory Program Logo

Applications to the 2019 Gateways to the Laboratory Program will open on November 1, 2018. All applications must be submitted through the Leadership Alliance portal. Please visit the Leadership Alliance for more application information.

Please be sure to check back here and follow us on Twitter (@GatewaysLab) for the latest news and updates about the current program.

Pioneering Program

Until 1993, none of the summer programs run by medical colleges or graduate schools had the specific aim of training students to become successful MD-PhD applicants and students.

In 1993, the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program of Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering became the first MD-PhD Program in the country to establish a summer program for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged college students who wish to pursue the combined degree.

To this day, the Tri-Institutional Gateways to the Laboratory Program is the only such program exclusively for freshmen and sophomores (rising sophomores and rising juniors).

Summer Highlights

Every year, 15 students embark on a 10-week intensive journey of learning about the challenging and rewarding road of becoming a physician-scientist.

Over the summer, students will:

  • Work independently on a research project at Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University, or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Have on-going mentorship with a current MD-PhD student (a "Big Sib"), as well as with the Program's leadership
  • Present and participate in weekly journal clubs
  • Sit for a Mock MCAT exam
  • Partake in a Lab Techniques and Clinical Skills Workshops
  • Scrub into surgeries at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospitals
  • Give oral, written, and poster presentations of their research at national and local meetings
  • Participate in Career Development Workshops (Presentation Workshop and Interview Skills Workshop)
  • Spend 10 weeks living and studying in New York City

Stipend and Housing

Students receive a stipend of $6,000, a $1,000 allowance toward on-campus housing, and reimbursement for their travel expenses. Gateways students are all housed in Weill Cornell Medicine student housing. 

Additionally, one family member is flown out to NYC for the final presentations and accommodated at a high-end hotel in New York City.


Every year, over 200 applicants compete for the 15 coveted positions in each Gateways class. Applicants should have a strong and readily apparent communicable desire to pursue the combined MD-PhD degree. This is NOT an appropriate summer program for students who wish to eventually pursue an MD or MPH degree.

Previous research experience is encouraged, but not required.

Applicants should submit all materials as required by the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) Online Application here. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is strongly suggested.

The typical Gateways applicant has an average college GPA (at the time of submitting an application) of 3.7, and is self motivated, disciplined, and driven. They have a desire to investigate the unknown and bring their research from the "bench to the bedside". These are the students who always go the extra mile. They are the next generation of physician-scientists who will become leaders in biomedical research.

The Gateways to the Laboratory Program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are from racial or ethnic backgrounds shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research, individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and/or individuals with disabilities.

The 2019 Gateways Program will be held:
Monday, June 3, 2019, through Friday, August 9, 2019
Check into housing will be on Sunday, June 2 and check out on Saturday, August 10.


Alumni of the Gateways to the Laboratory Program may apply for a second summer experience in our Program.

Alumni of the Gateways to the Laboratory Program are accepted and matriculate annually to the most prestigious MD-PhD Programs in the country, including our own Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program.

For further information please contact:

Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering
Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program
1300 York Avenue, Room C-103
New York, NY 10065-4805
(212) 746-6023

Gateways Laboratory: Enhancing Diversity of Physician-Scientists

1300 York Avenue, C-103 New York, NY 10065 (212) 746-6023

Q: Who is eligible for the Gateways to the Laboratory Program?

A: College freshmen and sophomores who are US citizens or permanent residents and are from racial or ethnic backgrounds shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research, individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and/or individuals with disabilities, as described by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

This summer program is for students who are seriously considering pursuing a career as a physician scientist. This is not an appropriate summer program for those students who know they only wish to attend medical school in the future.

Q: How should I submit my application?

A: The Gateways to the Laboratory Program offers an on-line application through The Leadership Alliance