Quantitative Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (QSURE)

Quantitative Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (QSURE)


The QSURE program provides undergraduate students hands-on experience in quantitative science research. 2018 interns from left: Antara Mondal, Nicholas Hartman, David Hong, Aijin Wang, Christine Lin, Sarah Szvetecz, Margaret Steiner, Srinivas Sunil, Chase Latour, and Elly Kipkogei

QSURE applications will open Monday, October 23rd and close at on Monday, January 22nd.

Questions? Send an email to [email protected].

Program Overview

2019 intern, Hector Moran with mentor, Dr. Yuelin Li

2019 intern, Hector Moran, brainstorms with his faculty mentor, Dr. Yuelin Li, for their project analyzing missing smoking cessation data

The QSURE internship program is designed for motivated undergraduate students with a passion for quantitative science. Each student will be paired with an expert mentor to work on an individual, data-driven research project that aims to answer pressing questions in cancer. The program will provide hands-on skills in biostatistics, epidemiology, health outcomes, and/or computational oncology. The QSURE program is supported by National Cancer Institute (R25 CA214255) and the MSK Society.

Program Goal

2019 intern, Crystal Zang

2019 intern, Crystal Zang, presents her work predicting metabolomics data across cancers at the annual QSURE Symposium

QSURE interns will receive training in scientific as well as career development skills, including:

  • Hands-on research experience carried out under the guidance of a faculty mentor
  • Quantitative skills and familiarity with methods used in cancer and population health research
  • Exposure to a wide application of data through internal and external speakers
  • Education in the responsible conduct of research
  • Training in oral and written scientific presentation
  • Resources for career development
  • Understanding of options for graduate study and careers
  • A supportive cohort of like-minded peers

Important Information

Faculty mentor Ed Reznik presents to QSURE interns

Faculty mentor Ed Reznik presents to QSURE interns

  • A modest stipend will be provided
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the US
  • Students are responsible for their own housing, but QSURE will provide a nominal reimbursement for housing expenses
Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants must be:

  • Enrolled as a full-time undergrad student with an expected graduation after December 2024
  • Authorized to work in the US
  • In good academic standing
  • Committed to professional conduct and integrity

Competitive applicants will have:

  • A keen interest in cancer and population health
  • At least one semester of college statistics (AP statistics courses do not count)
  • Demonstrated experience or aptitude for independent and collaborative data analysis and/or quantitative research
  • Proficiency in a statistical programming language (e.g., R, SAS, STATA, Python)
  • A strong academic record
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated desire to pursue graduate education or a career in quantitative health sciences
Application Requirements
  • Resume
  • Statement of interest (~ 500 words), briefly summarizing your motivation for participating in QSURE and any quantitative experience you have. See further instructions in the application.
  • Letter of good academic standing from Dean, College Counselor or equivalent
  • Letter of recommendation from Professor or equivalent
Internship Location

The QSURE Internship is sponsored by Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, located in midtown Manhattan. The Department’s offices at 633 3rd Avenue are in easy walking distance of several New York City subway lines and the Metro North Railroad at Grand Central Terminal.  Penn Station (Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit) and the Port Authority Bus Terminal are easily accessible via mass transit. MSK operates regular shuttle buses between midtown and MSK’s main campus on the Upper East Side, where QSURE interns will have access to the MSK Library and to relevant lectures, seminars, and other educational activities.

Research Areas and Past Projects

Individual research projects vary from year to year, but all apply quantitative approaches in biostatistics, epidemiology, health outcomes, or computational oncology.

Common research areas and examples of past projects that fall under these areas are listed below:

  • Cancer risk factors, biomarkers, and prediction
    • Age at onset of pancreatic cancer in relation to risk factors
    • Association between age at last birth and maternal telomere length”
    •  “Predicting recurrence of liver metastases and overall survival in colorectal cancer patients
  • Computational oncology: cancer genome/metabolome/proteome
    • Using metafeature clustering and smoothed Good-Turing probability estimation to mine tissue-specific signals from rare variants in the cancer genome
    • Identifying splice events that contribute to tumor initialization and progression using recurrence
    • Prediction of unmeasured features in metabolomics data across cancer types
  • Delivery of health services
    • Increasing financial payments from industry to medical oncologists in the United States, 2014-2017
    • Measures of hospitals’ quality: how do they relate?”
    • Understanding differences in prescription drug use between Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic White Americans: Results from the NHANES study
  • Development/application of novel statistical methodology
    • Simulation study of variable selection methods for survival analysis”
    • “Characterizing Longitudinal Breast Imaging Features in CT Scans”
    • Applying statistical machine learning methods to cancer genomics”
QSURE Intern Updates
Contact us

MSK is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of recruiting and employment. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran status or any other factor which cannot lawfully be used as a basis for an employment decision.