Pathway Programs and Partnerships

REACH Program

Research and Education for the Advancement of Compassionate Healthcare

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine REACH program is an intensive clinical and research immersion summer experience for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career as a physician. In addition to helping students prepare for medical school, REACH was developed to grow the presence of students underrepresented in the field of medicine.

Reach SIM Center narrow

The 2023 application period will begin on December 15, 2022.  Please check back later for information about future REACH programming.

REACH Program Highlights

As a REACH participant, you will:

  • Be a part of a class of aspiring medical professionals.
  • Gain clinical and research immersion experience, while having access to the larger university Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), maximizing your networking opportunities.
  • Work hand-in-hand with faculty mentors and graduate students during your research and clinical training.
  • Receive medical school admissions preparation and visit the JUMP Simulation Center.
  • Participate in professional workshops on a variety of topics to support your personal and professional growth, including a Research Writing Seminar designed to teach how to write and publish academic papers.
  • Present your research at the  Illinois Summer Research Symposium at the end of your program.
  • Have access to the University of Illinois Library, one of the largest public academic libraries in the United States.
  • Have an opportunity to exchange ideas and broaden your knowledge through research team participation. You will be assigned to a research team consisting of participants from similar majors. Your team will meet regularly under the leadership of a Research Team Leader who is pursuing an advanced degree in a related field of study. The research team serves as a mechanism to help refine your research project and build relationships with other students.
  • Receive a $5,000 stipend for participation in the REACH program and 3-4 hours of independent study credit.

SpHERES High School Research Program

Sparking High Schoolers' Excitement for Research in Engineering & Science

SpHERES  is a dynamic research program for Champaign-Urbana high school students interested in pursuing higher education, supported by the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

Participating laboratories host SpHERES students who work together under the mentorship and guidance of a research faculty member and additional mentors (graduate or undergraduate students in the lab). Multiple layers of mentoring provide students with a richer, more fulfilling research experience.

SpHERES is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Program, which partners with engineering departments across campus to share programming and broaden the experiences for participants.

The 2023 SpHERES Program

Program Dates and Eligibility Requirements coming soon!

Program Goals

  • Introduce students to scientific research and promote career opportunities
  • Help students gain knowledge in a variety of science applications
  • Help students gain an understanding of science and its local and global impact

Global Community Immersion Program

Engage first-hand with health challenges around the world through Carle Illinois College of Medicine Global Community Immersion Program. During your discovery learning session, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in an international community for three weeks. There, you will be challenged to identify an unmet medical need abroad, which will in turn provide you with data and inspiration to create a solution. As a Carle Illinois student training abroad, you will learn from local leaders and contribute to the community through teaching seminars or assisting in local health facilities.

Preparation and Application

To prepare for your global immersion experience, you will take a specially-designed two-credit hour course preparing you for cross-cultural effectiveness, and equip you for a productive partnership with the client community. You may also use this experience to prompt direction for your Innovation, Design, Engineering and Analysis (IDEA) Projects, which could ultimately become your Capstone Project. Then, bring your data and ideas to the Health Maker Lab, working alongside world-class research mentors to develop innovative solutions to the global health challenges you are most passionate about.


Njala University
Sierra Leone

The Njala University Hospital provides health care services not only to about 10,000 students, staff and their relatives, but extends those services to the immediate communities adjacent to it. As a rural-based hospital, it caters for the healthcare needs of over 300,000 rural inhabitants covering the four adjacent chiefdoms of Kori, Dasse, Kamajei, and Kowa lying within an average radius of 40 miles.

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Rio de Jainero, Brazil

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation is a scientific institution for research and development in biological sciences located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is considered one of the world’s main public health research institutions. It was founded by Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, a noted physician and epidemiologist.

The National Institute of Women, Children and Adolescents Health Fernandes Figueira (IFF) carries out important work related to breastfeeding and is a reference for children with cystic fibrosis and other serious illnesses. The hospital offers the only free-care ambulatory for medical genetics in the country, and a modern nursery for high-risk newborn infants.

Rotations and assistance to patients with infectious diseases such as STDs and AIDS, tegumental leishmaniasis, fungal infections, Chagas’ disease, TB and dengue, among others, is the specialty of the Evandro Chagas Institute of Clinical Research (IPEC).

Sponsored by the Center for Global Studies through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program.