Program Overview | Apply 


Students Understanding Principles of Research Education through Medicine, Engineering, and Science


SUPREMES is an academic-year program that provides high school students with an educational experience in biomedical research, clinical research, and technology development in laboratories at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Children's Research Institute, Versiti, and the Zablocki VA Medical Center Laboratories in the Milwaukee metro area. Students will be introduced to new technologies, cutting-edge research and exciting laboratory practices, guided and taught by highly skilled, established scientific researchers.  


Please note that, due to COVID-19, some or all portions of the program may be conducted virtually during the 2021-2022 academic school year.  


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Program Overview

The SUPREMES program is comprised of 2 learning modules, each lasting one semester.  (Please see the 2019–2020 Academic Schedule for reference.)


Module 1:  Training

Students will attend two, consecutive afternoon workshops (~6 hours total) per week at MCW and/or MU to further their research understanding through state-of-the-art technology, scientific scholarly writing, and laboratory techniques/methodologies. Training in data analysis, statistics, electrical circuits, professionalism, resiliency, and laboratory safety will also occur. 

Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, some or all of the workshops may be conducted virtually during the 2021–2022 academic school year.


Module 2:  Laboratory Practicum

Students will apply the knowledge and skills developed in Module 1 during a semester-long research-based investigation in a laboratory setting at MCW, MU, the CRI, Versiti, or ZVAMC. Throughout the module, students are required to work a minimum of 6 hours a week in an assigned laboratory setting matching their research interests. Students that are high school juniors may return for their senior year to continue the laboratory experience if all requirements are met in their junior year.

Due to the ever-changing nature of COVID-19, students will work with their assigned lab to determine whether the work will be virtual or in-person.  We expect students to follow all MCW COVID-19 guidelines if they are to be present on campus, as well as all guidelines provided by their assigned lab, as appropriate. 


Program Benefits

Participating students will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate as an active member of a research team
  • Increase their scientific/health literacy and understanding
  • Conduct research; develop a manuscript, poster, and present findings
  • Learn about career opportunities in research and health professions
  • Gain exposure to existing educational programs and resources at MCW and/or MU
  • Collaborate with science and health professionals to strengthen their reflective understanding of critical issues in basic science, clinical, or technological research

Program Requirements

To successfully complete the SUPREMES program, students will be required to:

  • Attend the mandatory orientation on the evening of August 19, 2021.
  • Attend all scheduled learning sessions and actively participate in the learning experience. Two or more absences (excused/unexcused) during Module 1 will automatically result in termination from the program.
  • Complete all required laboratory safety trainings per MCW compliance purposes for Module 1.
  • Complete all required laboratory safety trainings per institutional placement (MU, CRI, Versiti, VA) in Module 2.
  • Complete and submit all monthly reflections.
  • Lead one Journal Club discussion in Module 1 or 2.
  • Maintain a laboratory notebook in Module 2.
  • Document time spent in a laboratory setting in Module 2.
  • Attend monthly research progress check-in during Module 2.
  • Maintain a valid student email for use in program communications.  
  • Compose a scientific manuscript.
  • Create a poster display centered on individual research.
  • Present findings to institution faculty, staff, and community partners.

Please note, failure to meet any one of these aforementioned program requirements may result in termination of the student’s participation in the program.


To qualify for the SUPREMES, students must meet and adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age AND of Junior standing upon the start of the program. Absolutely no exceptions will be made for this eligibility requirement. 
  • Be in Good academic standing with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Exceptions will be considered for the GPA requirement if addressed in the personal statement or other application materials. 
  • Have successfully completed or be currently enrolled in the following coursework: Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I & II, and two years of English/Composition.
  • Complete and submit all application materials on time, including all recommendation letters.  

In addition, an Affiliation Agreement and Program Memorandum between MCW and the student’s academic institution must be in place before the student commences participation. This must be in place before the first day of the program for the student to participate. If accepted into the program, the program administrators will work with your school to complete this requirement; no action is required on your part.




The application cycle will open on February 1, 2021, and will continue through April 1, 2021.
All application documentation (including application, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and official transcript) must be submitted by the application deadline. The submission deadline is Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 10 p.m. CST.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.


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The SUPREMES Application is composed of 25 questions and will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.  Please be prepared to upload your resume, transcripts, and personal statement and answer questions regarding your scientific interests and current academic activities.  

Complete Application

Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant must submit two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be written by current and/or former professors/instructors or advisers and should convey your interest in the sciences and research.  

(It is recommended that all applicants follow up with their referees to ensure letters are submitted prior to the application due date.)

Submit Letters of Recommendation


Applicants will be notified no later than April 12, 2021, if they are invited for an interview. Interviews will be held during the week of April 26–30, 2021.

Applicants chosen to participate will be sent an acceptance letter via email. Upon accepting the offer in writing via email, the applicant's participation in SUPREMES is contingent upon successfully completing a background check and having a Program Memorandum/Affiliation Agreement in place with the high school prior to the start of the first day of the program.



SUPREMES 2021 is scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 7, 2021, and conclude with the Research Symposium on May 12, 2022.  The SUPREMES 2021 calendar will be based on the SUPREMES 2019 calendar, which can be accessed at the link below.  The SUPREMES 2021 calendar will be made available to students upon acceptance to the program.


View Previous Calendar