Canary CREST Program

Canary Cancer Research Education Summer Training (CREST) Program
(Canary CREST Program)

The Canary Center at the Stanford School of Medicine is a world-class research center dedicated to early cancer detection. To train the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists, we offer a unique summer research training opportunity for undergraduate students, namely, the Canary Cancer Research Education Summer Training (CREST) Program. Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the program offers a 10-week research experience in one of our state-of-the art labs. Each participant will be matched with a Faculty mentor who will help them craft a research project. Senior scientists and postdoctoral fellows will assist the Faculty in supervising and mentoring the students in the lab. The successful applicant can expect to work in a dynamic lab environment on challenging projects that involve a broad range of research techniques. Additionally, students will learn about the field of cancer early detection (from in vitro diagnostics to in vivo molecular imaging) through specially-designed short classroom sessions, as well as participate in professional development and career seminars. The program culminates with a Symposium, where students present individual posters on their research projects in front of their peers, faculty and lab mentors, and other Stanford scientists. 


All participants in the Canary CREST Program must agree to the following eligibility requirements and program expectations: 

  • Students must be undergraduate students enrolled in two- or four-year colleges or universities 
  • Students are expected to work at least 8 hours per day, 5 days per week in the lab for the duration of the 10-week period 
  • Students are expected to attend all program activities, including orientation, seminars, and the poster symposium 
  • Students must be U.S. citizens/permanent residents or currently enrolled Stanford University Undergraduates 
  • Housing and travel assistance are available 


Key Dates

Application open date: December 15, 2023

Application due date: January 15, 2024

Application review: January - March 2024

Internship Period: June 17 - August 23, 2024


Canary CREST Application

Note: Only applications submitted online via this page will be accepted. Documents submitted via regular mail or e-mail will NOT be accepted.

The online application will require submission of the following information: 

  • Candidate’s academic work (e.g., GPA, courses, course-associated laboratories, prior research experience, computer skills) 
  • A current transcript 
  • An essay that describes an applicant’s interest for participating in this program (max. 5,000 characters) 
  • A 1-2 page resume 
  • Names and contact information of individuals who can provide a letter of recommendation (Note: Letters are NOT required at the time of submission of the application).  

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for answers to any queries you might have.  If you have any questions that are not listed in the FAQs, Please contact


Canary CREST Program Leadership

Program Directors

Sharon Pitteri, PhD

Utkan Demirci, PhD

Program Administration

Bruce Schaar, PhD

Program Coordinator

Rhea Scott

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