About the FDSRP

Making a Difference.

The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) is an exciting summer research opportunity at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) for undergraduate and first-year medical students with a commitment to the health of Native American communities. The FDSRP has brought over 200 students to Boston during this time. We invite students to join us for 8 weeks to engage in basic science or translational research projects under the supervision of Harvard Medical School faculty advisors.

At the end of the 8 weeks students share their research findings during a final research presentation day. Students also receive career development training, meet faculty from across the hospital and medical school, and participate in a variety of social networking events. FDSRP covers students’ travel costs to and from Boston, provides housing free of charge, and provides a living stipend for the summer.


To train the next generation of Native American leaders in health care

The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) provides an opportunity for talented Native American undergraduates to explore careers in the medical profession under the guidance and supervision of staff from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The program prepares Native students through mentoring, networking, and hands on research experience. Our goal is to train the next generation of Native American leaders in health care.


Creating an extensive network of Native American health professionals

The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School helps Native American students realize their dreams of becoming physicians, researchers, and public health professionals; as well as role models and teachers in the academic community.

Our student alumni also take information and ideas back to their own communities, increasing the impact and influence of the program. As we celebrate over 26 years of operation, we are creating an extensive network of Native American health professionals that will serve as a venue for knowledge sharing, nationwide mentoring, and advocates for improving the health of Native Americans.


Increasing educational and career opportunities for promising Native American students

The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) was created by Native American students attending Harvard Medical School (HMS). These students shared a common vision of increasing educational and career opportunities for promising Native American students. With the help of a few devoted medical school faculty, the program was launched in 1994 with the successful enrollment of 6 students for the first summer. We have brought over 200 students to HMS during this time.

Our Team

Our Students

Representing the true diversity of the Native American community

FDSRP alumni include over 200 students representing over 77 tribes from 33 states. These students have come to us from over 98 colleges and universities. There is no “ideal profile” for students entering our program. Scroll through the information and maps below to see that our students come from large universities to small colleges; and from very rural communities to large urban centers. The one thing that all of our students have in common is the desire to pursue their career goals and impact the health of Native American communities.

Our Sponsors

Harvard Medical School


Brigham and Women's Hospital


The Office for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School was created to promote increased recruitment, retention and advancement of underrepresented minority faculty at Harvard Medical School and to oversee all diversity activities involving Harvard Medical School faculty, trainees, students and staff. The Office seeks to preserve the Harvard tradition of excellence in medicine and science by amplifying the search for, and support of, well-trained faculty, while creating a cadre of medical professionals reflecting the larger community that we serve.

The Center for Diversity & Inclusion at Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides a comprehensive and coordinated approach to career advancement and professional development of all faculty, trainees and students across the academic continuum.

We Gratefully Acknowledge Foundation Support:

Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. The Foundation helps build healthy communities by promoting volunteerism, forming partnerships and funding initiatives that improve the quality of life where our employees and customers live and work.

The Sun Hill Foundation

Founded in 1991 by the Malloy Family, the Sun Hill Foundation is dedicated to investing in initiatives that serve populations both here and abroad. The Foundation’s program interests include environmental preservation, education of youth in the arts, local communities and Jewish-affiliated institutions throughout the world. Its community efforts focus on counseling, legal services, literacy and health.

The John and Sophie Ottens Foundation

The John and Sophie Ottens Foundation was organized in part to support the education of Native Americans from the four-corner states (Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado) to become nurses, other health professionals, professional teachers, and social workers.

Mohegan Sun

Based in Uncasville, CT, the Mohegan Tribe of Indians founded the Mohegan Sun Foundation to support various community outreach efforts that would serve its population. The Mohegan Sun Foundation funds local programs and focuses on organizations such as hospitals and homeless shelters.