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Application Information

Due to continued uncertainties about the occupancy of laboratories and regional travel restrictions,, the national Amgen Scholars Program, of which Caltech is a part, will not be accepting applications for summer 2021. Please consider applying to Caltech's summer undergraduate research programs through SURF or WAVE Fellows.

Please read this entire page before beginning the application process!

Students must identify and contact a Caltech research mentor in advance of submitting an application. A mentor must agree to support your application and help you to develop, define, and articulate your proposed research.

This early interaction is a very important part of the application process. Visiting (non-Caltech) students usually have to accomplish this discussion via e-mail, phone, or Skype. If a student is in the area, we encourage them to visit the campus and meet the mentor.

Please refer to the Finding a Mentor page and Tips for Meeting with a Potential Mentor for additional information.

All application documents will be submitted directly to the SFP Online system. Applications are due on or before February 1st. The application contains:

  • An online application, which includes two short essays. The first asks you to describe your previous research experience, provide a brief overview of your proposed summer project, and how this work fits into your educational and career goals. The second essay asks you to discuss ways in which you would benefit from and/or contribute to our goals of diversifying science.
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation from faculty (at least two in the relevant discipline).
  • An unofficial transcript.

We will contact the applicant's mentor for a confidential evaluation after the application is submitted.

Applicatons are encouraged from undergraduates from diverse populations and backgrounds and from students who attend schools where research opportunities are limited.

The Research Project

The most important factor in selecting a project is your enthusiasm for the project itself and for working with the mentor. The Amgen Scholarship is not "just a summer job"; a project should have significant intellectual and creative content. The benchmark for a suitable project is the potential for publication in the refereed literature.

As stated above, you will be asked to describe your previous research experience, provide a brief, but detailed, overview of your proposed summer project, and how this work fits into your educational and career goals. It should provide an overview of what you plan to do, and why it will be useful. This statement, along with your application, will be reviewed and evaluated by your mentor and by a member of the faculty in the project field.


Recommendations are completed online with the application form. The online application will request recommender contact information from the student. The recommender will then be emailed directly and asked to submit their recommendation into the online system. Students are required to submit three letters of recommendation. At least two should be from faculty members in the relevant field. Your prospective Caltech mentor will complete a separate evaluation and should not write a letter of recommendation. Recommendations are also due on February 1st so submit your recommender information well in advance.


Awards will be announced on March 1. Students will receive e-mail notification of the outcome of their applications and instructions and forms required to accept the award.