GenOM ALVA, Clean Energy ALVA and MEM-C ALVA Summer Research Application

Thank you for you interest in the 2021 GenOM/Clean Energy/MEM-C ALVA Summer research program.

How to Apply

To apply for GenOM ALVA or Clean Energy or MEM-C ALVA 2021, you must complete an online application, which includes a personal statement and resume portion, and submit official transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Detailed instructions are provided below. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and application instructions prior to starting the application process.

If you have any questions, please contact Latoya Surratt by email or by phone at (206) 543-3306.

Online Application Instructions

Please note that once you start the online application, you cannot save it and return to it later, it must be completed all at once. Please do not submit multiple applications. You cannot make changes to an application once it has been submitted.

Your personal statement should answer each of the following questions in one concise essay. Typed, double spaced, maximum of two pages. (500 words or 6000 characters, includes spaces & punctuation)

  • What are your long-term career and/or educational goals?
  • What type of science or engineering are you most interested in and why?
  • What research topics are you interested in and why?
  • Please list any relevant skills (i.e., lab, computer, technical) that you have – whether you have learned them in a course, or in a lab or workplace.
  • If you have already had a research experience, please briefly describe it.

Your resume should include the following information:

  • Name and contact information
  • Schools attended/attending
  • Employment
  • Academic programs outside of school (MESA, BioQuest Academy, Connexx, etc.)
  • Extra-curricular activities, volunteering, community service
  • Leadership, awards, and honors
  • Hobbies

Use the following link to access the online application:

UW ALVA Summer 2021 Application - HERE

The online portion of the application will close at 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Additional Application Materials

In addition to the online application, you will also need to submit by mail a hardcopy official sealed school transcript for each school you have attended. This includes any courses you have taken at community colleges through programs like Running Start.

You will also need two (2) letters of recommendation. One (1) from a science teacher and one (1) from a personal reference or another teacher (not parents, family members, or peer friends). Download and print the following reference form, fill out the top half, and provide it to both of your referees to submit along with your letter of reference:

ALVA Summer 2021 Letter of Recommendation Form (Used for all applicaitons)

Letters of recommendation and official transcripts should be sent to the following address, c/o Latoya Surratt:

GenOM Project
University of Washington
Office of Research
Box 351202
Seattle, WA 98195


Alternatively, recommendations can also be scanned and emailed by your referee to with the subject line: “GenOM ALVA 2021 or Clean Energy ALVA 2021 or MEM-C ALVA 2021 Recommendation: [Student Name]”

Official transcripts and mailed recommendations must be postmarked or emailed by midnight Friday, February 26, 2021. Emailed recommendations must be sent no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application Questions

I have received an error message?

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If you have received the following error message:

"Your account is not allowed to take this survey. Detailed Description: This survey has restrictions on which type of account can respond."

Please do the following:

If you are using Windows Explorer, please try using a different web browser.

We suggest Chrome, Firefox or Safari (Mac).

Chrome download (recommended):


How do I obtain a UWnetID?

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In order to submit a University of Washington application online, all students will have already created a UWnetID. In case you have forgotten your UWnetID or cannot find it, you should visit:

If you have applied to the University of Washington via paper application, in which case you have not created a UWnetID, visit the following link:


I have applied to the University of Washington-Seattle, but I don't know if I will be accepted yet. Can I still apply to the ALVA program?

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In order to apply to the ALVA program, you only have to have an application on file with the University of Washington Seattle campus. The deadline for our application is March 11th, which is about two weeks before the University of Washington begins releasing admissions decisions. Therefore, you do not have to be accepted to the University of Washington before applying to ALVA. You do, however, have to be accepted to and plan to attend the University of Washington Seattle campus in order to be accepted into and participate in the ALVA program.


Do I have to attend the University of Washington in order to participate in the ALVA program?

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Yes, you have to be accepted in to and plan to enroll at the University of Washington's main campus in Seattle for the fall quarter of the year in which you apply.


I don't have any previous experience in a laboratory setting; should I still apply?

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Absolutely! We are not necessarily looking for students who already have a great deal of lab experience. In fact, the goal of the program is to provide students who have not had a great deal of experience in the lab with an opportunity to have real hands-on experience.


I have a trip planned during the time that the ALVA program is taking place. Will that be a problem?

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The ALVA program is a very intensive summer program, and as such, we do require full participation. Any absences need to be cleared by ALVA staff. If you already have plans for the summer, we do recommend that you still apply to the program, but be aware that if you are accepted and wish to participate, it is highly likely that you will have to choose between ALVA and  any previous plans for that summer.


I am not a high school senior. Can I still apply to the program?

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The ALVA program is only for incoming freshmen to the University of Washington's main campus in Seattle. If you are a high school student and are interested in gaining research exposure similar to the ALVA program, we highly encourage you to look into some of our partner programs for high school students listed here.


I just submitted my ALVA application. When will I hear if I was accepted?

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We will not begin reviewing applications until after the February 28th deadline. After the application deadline, we will begin to process the applications as we await word from the University of Washington Admissions Office to determine which of our applicants were offered admission to the University; typically between March 15th and 31st. Once we have this information, the applications for those students that were accepted to the University are reviewed extensively by ALVA staff. We typically make our admission decisions by the end of the second week in April.


Program Questions

What is a typical day like for an ALVA student?

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The ALVA program is a very intensive summer program. There are both research and academic components to the program. The academic components include a daily math course that runs the length of the program, a seven-week chemistry course, and intensive training courses in lab techniques and bioethics. To supplement the academic portion of the program there are also nightly tutoring sessions and professional development seminars. The research component begins after the initial laboratory training.  Students will be paired with a faculty mentor and conduct research in a laboratory setting. By the end of the program, students will have completed a research paper and poster to present at the closing ceremony. See the image below for an example schedule for ALVA students:


How much does it cost to take part in the ALVA Program?

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Housing and food expenses are covered by the program and students are also provided with a stipend for their research. Therefore, aside from the transportation costs to and from Seattle, there is no cost to participate in the ALVA program; in fact, you are actually paid!


How do you match students with mentors for the program?

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Over the years, the UW GenOM Project has developed relationships with a core set of mentors who are committed both to our program and our students. We will have 14 lab positions for ALVA students in pre-selected labs representing a variety of departments across the UW campus. ALVA semi-finalists will be provided a list of our mentors for the summer 2018 program and will be asked to rank their top choices, and our mentors will do the same. Then ALVA staff will make the final selection. This process allows mentors more time to plan for students and will give students a better idea of what to expect during the summer. We feel this process will provide for an even more enjoyable program for both students and mentors and look forward to the end results!


I heard ALVA students get one year of undergraduate research funding in addition to ALVA, but that joining a fraternity or sorority during your freshman year can impact this stipend. Why is this the case?

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As a participant of the GenOM ALVA program (Clean Energy ALVA participants are not included), each student who successfully completes the program is provided with one year (or four quarters) of undergraduate research funding that they can use at any time during their undergraduate career at the University of Washington. It has been our experience that students who join fraternities and sororities during their first year do not perform as well academically as those that wait until later on in their academic career. Therefore, one stipulation for receiving the undergraduate research stipend in the future is that GenOM ALVA students cannot pledge, join or rush a social fraternity or sorority during their freshman year.

What benefits do ALVA students have after the program ends?

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The ALVA program doesn't end after the summer.  ALVA staff are there to provide academic support and advising throughout ALVA students’ time at the University of Washington and beyond.  We can help with course registration, career planning, scholarship and graduate school applications and more.  There is also an extensive network of other undergraduate students and alumni that provide a great sense of community on what is a very large campus.  In addition, ALVA students are provided with one year (or four quarters) of undergraduate research funding that they can use at any time during their undergraduate career.  All ALVA students can also apply for travel scholarships to attend national conferences to present their research.