Summer Program for International Research Internship and Training

SPIRIT is a student initiative program started by the URC in the summer of 2011. The program focuses on providing Alfaisal medical students with World class research and training opportunities in countries abroad including the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe.

Every year around 80-90 students are accepted to various universities/research institutes through the SPIRIT program. This is achieved by collaborating with excellent universities and research institutes abroad that provide the students with the essential expertise in the field of medical research. Each university/institution hosts about 3-5 students during the summer.

Program Objectives

  • To develop the students’ research skills and provide hands-on experience in the areas of clinical and basic research
  • To provide the students a chance to develop long term relationships with the best international medical mentors/experts
  • To create a strong base of knowledge in the area of medical research, qualifying Alfaisal medical students to perform research abroad


SPIRIT Programs

SPIRIT in collaboration with the hosting universities/institutions offers the students two main types of programs:

  • Basic Research Internship Programs
  • Clinical Research Internship Programs

Basic Research Internship Programs

These programs are aimed towards providing students with opportunities to be mentored by a researcher and become involved in an ongoing project or devise ideas for new research project. In such programs, students refine their bench work skills and assist their mentors in research projects by generating data and results. Additionally, students are involved in weekly meetings to discuss the ongoing research project and may also be required to present their results and discuss future directions. Students will be under the mentorship, supervision and guidance of the international research mentor and his/her lab members during the summer. The following programs last for 12 weeks, more or less, and based on the students’ contributions’ there is an increased possibility of a research publication for the student.

Clinical Research Internship Programs

These programs are aimed towards providing the students with opportunities to be mentored by international researchers and become involved in an ongoing clinical research project or devise ideas for a new project. Clinical research programs generally provide students with a chance to practice Evidence Based Medicine, by being able to translate patient bedside information into clinically relevant questions. Students get involved in evaluating the effectiveness of drugs, devices, diagnostic products, and other treatment regimens intended for human use. Furthermore, students are required to be able to analyze patient clinical charts and extract relevant data in order to generate possible questions that may impact clinical practices and procedures.


To find out more about the available research internship programs under SPIRIT 2018, click here

Click here to apply to SPIRIT 2018



Applications, Criteria and Eligibility

Please read and understand the criteria carefully. Applications generally open after the Fall semester, i.e. first week of February, to provide ample time for the selection and visa process. The criteria for acceptance into the programs offered by SPIRIT is highly critical and competitive. Every year about 200 students from all academic years apply for seats offered by SPIRIT.



  • Have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 at the end of Fall 2017-2018 semester
  • Have no Incomplete or Summer Courses pending at the end Spring 2017-2018 semester
  • Have no record of misconduct with our university or during any local or international research or clinical activities organized by the MSA


Selection Criteria:


We are seeking students who will flourish in our program and those with a proven track record of success. Your academic status will be evaluated to assess this, specifically through:

  • Fall Semester Cumulative GPA (transcript to be provided)
  • Academic year



If interested in applying to SPIRIT, you should hold a strong research experience. Under research experience, your interest and background in research will be assessed through the following:

  • Successful completion of any research training course or workshop (certificate to be provided)
  • Active or previous participation in research projects such as Medical Education Research (abstract to be provided)
  • Active or previous participation in any scientific research training program locally or internationally (non-SPIRIT) (abstract to be provided)
  • Publications in medical education research and/or scientific research (basic or clinical) (PubMed links to be provided)
  • Conference or Symposium abstract presentations including mounted posters, e-posters, oral presentations etc. (certificate of presentation to be provided)
  • Any research awards or recognitions achieved (certificate to be provided)



We value students with both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. Your participation in extracurricular activities within and outside the MSA will strengthen your application and tell us more about how passionate you are about using your skills to benefit your community. Any college and pre-college awards, or recognitions you have received (academic or professional) will also be considered.


We are looking for students most eligible and those who we believe have the utmost academic and professional ability and potential to be offered a research seat abroad. Personal statement and interviews reflect what GPAs, research experience and other achievements don’t. They will allow us to know more about the applicants on a personal level and will contribute to our assessment of the applicant’s eligibility. They will reveal how students communicate on a one on one basis and will help us pick the most deserving and most representative of our university. Your CV should be presentable and give us a quick glimpse of your academics and research status, your involvement in volunteering, skills, and know-how.

A final interview with the mentor might be required to be finally accepted into the program.

Special Instructions:

  • Every credential listed in your application should have a verifiable proof.
  • Any form of falsification or fabrication of the information provided will result in your application being rejected.
  • Out of all applicants, a number of shortlisted candidates may be called upon for interviews as the second step in the selection process.


Click here to apply to SPIRIT 2018!