health education research opportunities

Graduate Summer Programs

The Health Educational Research Opportunities (HERO) program, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, provides 10-week summer research experiences for undergraduate students and first-year medical or dental students. The goal of HERO is to increase the number of underrepresented health professionals and researchers nationwide, with the hope of promoting better health outcomes for individuals from groups that are typically underrepresented in the bio-medical sciences.

Students have the opportunity to work with VCU faculty on research projects that focus on diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung and blood, blood resources, and sleep disorders. Students from racial and ethnic minorities, disadvantaged backgrounds, or with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Eligible applicants must be current students that have taken at least two semesters of college courses before beginning the program. First-year graduate students are also eligible to apply. At least one lab science class is highly encouraged. Students must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or a non-citizen nationals. Proof of citizenship status or resident status will be required before the start of the program. 

Application process

Students should apply using the online application, and provide a personal statement indicating career goals and aspirations, three letters of recommendation from faculty members, and an official transcript. Applications open on November 15 and close on March 15.

For more information, please contact


** The HERO program is currently not being offered. For more information about our other Research Training Programs visit our current programs located under the "Research Training Programs" tab or contact us **