MIT - Chulabhorn Graduate Institute Collaboration
in Applied Biological Sciences



MIT Undergraduate International Research Program

Bangkok, Thailand      June 1 - August 15, 2008

This is a unique opportunity for MIT undergraduates to work in a paid ten week summer research program in Bangkok, Thailand.

The program is co-sponsored and co-funded by MIT and the Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI), of Bangkok, Thailand. The mission of CRI is to apply science and technology to the improvement of the quality of life at home and around the world. CRI and its affiliate, the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute (CGI), bring together an international team of educators and scientists to work on solving emerging health problems and on educating and developing both Thai and international students in science and technology. Students from 14 countries populate the classrooms and laboratories of the CRI/CGI.  This year, CRI/CGI is extending an undergraduate research opportunity to MIT students.

Participants will work at the CRI/CGI laboratory facilities in Bangkok Thailand for ten weeks during the summer of 2008. During this time they will be jointly supervised by visiting MIT faculty and CGI faculty mentors ( Students will also have many opportunities to learn about the life and culture of Thailand and Southeast Asia. 

Dr. Ellen Essigmann, an MIT undergraduate Housemaster and an MIT alumna, will provide residential life and other logistical support to students participating in the program. She has extensively traveled in and around Bangkok, has attended numerous CRI events and programs, and has lived within the CRI Residence.  With this experience, Dr. Essigmann will be able to assist students before and during their stay in Thailand. This assistance will include helping to ensure that MIT/CRI/US work and travel documents are completed and approved prior to the start of the program.  It will also include planning and coordinating student educational, cultural and travel opportunities in and around Bangkok.  She will work in collaboration with the MIT UROP office and with relevant officers at CRI

Application Process

MIT undergraduate applicants must have education and experience in one of the research areas sponsored by participating members of the CGI Faculty.

Proposals for research must be developed by applicants with the guidance and approval of their MIT/CGI faculty co-supervisors. Participating MIT faculty will be living in Bangkok for the summer, teaching as visiting faculty at CGI

Research proposals must be submitted to and approved by the MIT IROP Office, as part of a standard on-line IROP application. All required travel forms must also be submitted and approved. MIT IROP Program:


Funding will be provided to all students participating in this Summer 2008 IROP in Thailand, as follows:

Travel expenses are funded by CRI and include round trip airfare on Thai Airways (JFK/BKK or LAX/BKK); room; and certain meals, travel and other local expenses [note: to be specified by CRI].

The Residence is located within the CRI campus and is used to house students attending the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute and also visiting faculty and researchers. The residence is designed to merge into the natural greenery of the area and features hotel-style rooms that are fully equipped with cable television, a telephone, a refrigerator and kitchenette. Laundry facilities, swimming pool and fitness center complete the facilities at the Residence.

Student summer research salaries will be funded by the MIT International UROP Program, at the level of $3,500 for the period of June 1 to August 15, 2008.



Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok, Thailand

MIT Faculty Participants in MIT - CGI Collaboration in Applied Biological Sciences




Ellen M. Essigmann, Ph.D.
CGI-MIT IROP Coordinator


Office of the Dean for Student Life
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Chulabhorn Research Institute*

Bangkok, Thailand




The goal of the Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI) is to utilize science and technology to improve "Quality of Life" for the people of Thailand and the Region. 


Scientific progress often depends on close interaction among scientists involved in basic and applied research. In this spirit, CRI plays a key role in bringing local scientists from various academic institutes to work together and, at the same time, seeks collaboration and funding from international organizations and institutes to support research and related activities.

The specific objectives of CRI are as follows:



Institute Activities


1. Research


Research is the core activity of the Institute.  Research activities are conducted in 9 research laboratories. These include:


Chemistry Research: Natural Products, Medicinal Chemistry, Organic Synthesis


Biomedical Research:  Biochemistry, Chemical Carcinogenesis, Immunology, Pharmacology


Environmental Toxicology Research


Biotechnology Research


2. Education/Training and Scientific Exchange


The development of human resources is one of the key activities of the Institute. There is a shortage of qualified scientists and technologists in the country, as well as in the region, to meet the requirements and challenges of rapid economic growth. To remedy this shortage, CRI has initiated a number of academic training programs designed to provide updated knowledge in specialized areas.


Through these programs, training courses, seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences are organized to promote the exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of information to assist local scientists to keep abreast with new developments and to strengthen regional and international co-operation. Thus, CRI collaborates and maintains contact with scientific institutions and international agencies with the aim of furthering scientific exchange and international cooperation in areas that correspond to the interests and objectives of the Institute.



3. Special Projects and Programs


As a center for both national and international cooperation, CRI has established several special programs that are of national and global importance in terms of both urgency and need. These special projects and programs involve extensive collaborative association with national and international institutions to advance regional development while safeguarding and enhancing the people’s quality of life.  In this regard, CRI is a Center of Excellence for the Region in Environmental Toxicology. 


*Adapted from the CRI web page,