Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s 2016 Fleming Scholars: Front row (left to right): Annelise Poss, Nicole Biddinger and Michael Harmon. Middle row (left to right): Caroline Say, Lindsey Purcell, Emily Wilkie, Joey Maher and Ariel Thorson. Back row (left to right): Evan McKinnis, Zane Dennis, Andrew Blattler, Dat Truong and Uday Kohli.

Do you know a high school senior or college student who would rather wear goggles in a lab than in a pool? Then a summer of science may be right up their alley.
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is accepting applications for its 2017 Sir Alexander Fleming Scholar Program. The application deadline is Feb. 1. The annual summer program allows the top science students in the state to enhance their research skills by gaining hands-on experience in a lab setting alongside world-class scientists for eight weeks.
High school seniors, as well as college freshmen, sophomores and juniors, are eligible to apply. Students must be 16 or older to qualify. Students must be Oklahoma residents at the time of high school graduation to be eligible. Once selected, Fleming Scholars are paid and may be eligible for housing.
The application process is completed online at www.omrf.org/fleming and includes submission of a long-form essay, letters of recommendation and academic transcripts.
“This program is rare in the type of opportunity it presents students at this stage in their education,” said OMRF Human Resources Specialist Heather Hebert, who coordinates the summer program. “This is a chance to experience research in way a classroom can’t emulate. It’s a unique experience that has served as a launching pad for many successful careers in biomedical research and healthcare.”
The program is named for Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin and also dedicated OMRF’s first building in 1949.
Since the inception of the program in 1956, more than 500 Oklahoma students have had the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art labs at OMRF. Two current OMRF program chairs, Rodger McEver, M.D., and Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., started their research careers as Fleming Scholars.