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DISIRE Program

DISIRE Research Participants listening to presenter
2023 DISIRE Participants listen to a keynote at the summer 2023 Research Symposium.

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Overview of the DISIRE Program
June 3-July 26, 2024

“Diabetes Institute Summer Interprofessional Research Experience (DISIRE)” Summer Undergraduate Program

The DISIRE curriculum will be interdisciplinary-focused consisting of online instruction, weekly seminars, journal club didactics, and research with a mentor. The online course will be an abridged version of “Diabetes: From Bench-to-Bedside”, an existing, comprehensive course that explores the genetics, physiology, treatment, self-management, and psychosocial care of diabetes. Our curriculum does not assume an in-depth background in diabetes and the DISIRE curriculum is designed to educate undergraduates without significant prior experience but interest in the field of diabetes research.

The apprentice-based research experience, which will develop research skills and build self-efficacy in the participants, is a critical component of the DISIRE program. Each participant will design a research project with their selected mentor and be involved in all aspects of conducting research from hypothesis generation to dissemination of findings. The final research projects will be presented at a research symposium in conjunction with the other summer undergraduate programs and graduate programs at Ohio University. Project mentors will maintain a long-term mentoring relationship with participants and provide guidance and encouragement to the participants during the application process to graduate school.

Eligibility Guidelines


  • Must be a U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident.
  • Must be currently enrolled full-time in a U.S. college or university.
  • Must have completed basic course work in chemistry, biology, physics or other relevant coursework.


  • Persons from groups underrepresented in science, including first-generation college students and those from the Appalachian region are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Sophomores and juniors are especially encouraged to apply, but strong applications from freshmen will be considered.
  • Applications from students with limited research opportunities are highly encouraged.
  • Level of financial need will be considered in the application process. Please collect information on whether you are receiving a Pell grant and a list of other types of financial aid for which you qualify. 

Student Stipend

Each student will receive $4,500 for the summer experience. The stipend will be received by the end of the program. Additionally, students will receive campus food (15 meals a week), on-campus housing for the duration of the program, and access to recreation facilities. Students will be housed in campus residence halls and will likely share a room with another DISIRE participant.  Requests for travel funds will be considered on an individual basis.

Application Process

You will complete an online application. All applications must be submitted by February 23, 2024, at 5 p.m. EST. 

Additionally, you need to request a letter of recommendation on your behalf by including recommender's name and e-mail in online application portal. Your recommender must submit this letter by February 23, 2024, at 5 p.m. This individual will receive an e-mail from Smartsheet requesting their reference letter. However, applicants should make an individual request of their letter writers in advance of submitting their application and can provide their writers with instructions for submitting the reference letter.

Students who apply to the program are required to submit the following at the time of application. Please have these ready to submit when you log in to the application portal (applications must be completed in one sitting):

  1. Transcripts (official or unofficia), overall GPA, and science GPA.
  2. Statement of purpose describing applicant's interest in the sciences, and in particular, diabetes research, and your goals for participating in this program. The DISIRE program acknowledges that some communities have demonstrable barriers to access to quality education in the sciences and welcomes applicants to write about such barriers or other distinctive aspects of your background or personal development that uniquely shape your perspective of science.
  3. The name and e-mail of a person who can write a letter of recommendation. This person must be a biological or health science faculty member to attest to the applicant’s ability in the sciences and interest in applying to a graduate program.
  4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  5. A list of the top three mentors you would like to work with and brief descriptions (2-3 sentences) as to why you chose these mentors. Review descriptions of available research mentors.
  6. Information on financial aid eligibility; specifically, you will be asked whether you are receiving a Pell grant and other forms of financial aid that indicate a level of financial need. Please have a list of the types of financial aid you receive or qualify for available. 

Contact Us

This program is supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant award number 1R25DK122952-01A1 Ohio University is grateful to the National Institutes of Health for supporting the work of talented undergraduate students. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.