South Carolina Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience

The South Carolina Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (SC CURE) program for underrepresented high school students is a two-year program taught by MUSC Hollings Cancer Center scientists for rising sophomores and juniors at Burke High School.

SC CURE allows underrepresented students to explore a career in biomedical cancer research. Rising sophomores and juniors are offered a number of learning opportunities focused on cancer biology, epidemiology, and health disparities. The program consists of cancer-focused courses and enrichment activities including a hands-on research rotation at Hollings, as well as cultural enrichment activities at the Wadmalaw Community Center and Beaufort's Penn Center. The program is designed to stimulate and facilitate local students' interest in cancer research and cancer health disparities.

Program Description

  • The program consists of two 18-week cancer-focused courses offered at Burke High School. Year one focuses on the general principles of cancer biology and epidemiology. Year two focuses on cancer disparities and the social and biological contributors to these disparities, as well as ongoing research to address them.
  • Twenty rising sophomores and juniors from Burke High School are competitively selected to participate in the seven-week SC CURE summer research experience occurring over two consecutive summers in a Hollings laboratory or research setting.
  • Enrichment activities are offered throughout the two-year SC CURE program tailored to stimulate the interest of Burke High School students in pursuing a biomedical research career.
  • Upon completion of the SC CURE program, scholars will receive at least 15 MUSC college credits.


My biggest love for the program is the opportunity that it gives our kids to go out and conquer.

Dr. Michael Goler, Burke High School

Dr. Michael Goler


Eligibility & Application Process

  • Sophomore- and junior-level Burke High School students.
  • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a biomedical science career and have a minimum 2.5 grade point average.
  • The SC CURE scholar application includes:
    1. A brief written statement expressing interest in biomedical research and/or cancer research.
    2. Two letters of recommendation from teachers at Burke High School, with at least one from a science course teacher.
    3. Copy of previous semester's report card.
  • SC CURE leaders conduct interviews of top candidates based on application materials to select SC CURE scholars.
  • Based on this process, a cohort of 20 scholars is chosen to participate in the two-year SC CURE program. It is expected that selected scholars will commit to the entire two years.