Funding //

Student Research Program

The application period for Summer 2024 has closed.
Please check back next year for information on SSRP 2025.

Program Description

The Orland Bethel Family Musculoskeletal Research Center (BMRC) was established by a gift from the Orland Bethel Family Foundation and matched by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in 2024. The BMRC enables the University of Pittsburgh to elevate its study of musculoskeletal disorders, including bone and muscular diseases, degenerative arthritis, fragility fractures, cartilage and tendon disorders, and spinal pathology, by attracting and retaining top scientists to advance leading-edge research. The BMRC prioritizes support of undergraduate and medical students conducting musculoskeletal research in order to grow and foster the next generation of musculoskeletal scientists.

The goal of this 9-week SSRP is to provide undergraduate and medical students, from within and outside of The University of Pittsburgh, with a hands-on laboratory experience with mentorship and training in research methods and scientific presentation skills.


Participants must be currently enrolled undergraduates or medical students, or spring graduates of an undergraduate institution. Students must verify that they are US citizens or have legal work status. The BMRC is dedicated to improving diversity, equity, inclusion in musculoskeletal research. Students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine or STEM fields are encouraged to apply.

Program Details

Accepted students will conduct in-person research at the University of Pittsburgh. The SSRP will provide a stipend of $4000, disbursed in two equal payments. Housing and/or travel expenses are not included. Students will present their projects at an end-of-program symposium.

Students must pre-arrange a research project with a faculty member of the BMRC prior to application. More information on labs & faculty can be found at

Application Details

The following materials must be collected and assembled into a single-PDF document.

  1. Applicant’s resume or CV.
  2. One page personal statement describing interest in musculoskeletal research and the BMRC SSRP.
  3. Letter of support from the BMRC faculty member who will supervise the student.
  4. Research proposal, drafted with input from BMRC faculty member supervisor. Proposals may not exceed 2 single-spaced pages using 11 pt Arial font and 0.5” margins. The following sections should be included:
    • Title
    • Background and significance
    • Specific aims and hypotheses
    • Approach
    • Role of the student
    • References (not included in 2 page limit)

    A non-BMRC faculty member should email a letter of recommendation for the applicant to Laurie Dearolf, PhD at before March 15, 2024.

    Transforming musculoskeletal
    research together