SURF | Summer Biomedical Research and Premedical Opportunities
Faculty at UC College of Medicine (UC COM) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) provide mentorship in biomedical research for students participating in training programs sponsored by UC, UC COM and CCHMC. Information about applying to the following programs is available on each program’s website.
In an effort to provide the most productive and fun summer experience possible, some of the following programs have collaborated to offer students participating in summer research at the UC COM/CCHMC the opportunity to participate in the social, cultural and academic programming provided by the SURF programs (with the permission and support of their mentor and/or sponsoring summer program). Additionally, these students may be eligible to receive the SURF discount on summer conference housing at UC. Please contact the Office of Research and Graduate Education for more information about participating in SURF.
There are currently five SURF Programs, sponsored by the following departments to provide summer research experience to students who aspire to a career in biomedical research:
a. Research & Graduate Education SURF Program (RGE SURF)
b. Cincinnati Children's SURF Program (CCHMC SURF)
c. Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) SURF Program (MSTP SURF)
d. Neuroscience SURF Program (NEURO SURF)
e. American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET SURF)
SURF Programs are 9 or 10-week research internships under the mentorship of faculty at UC COM and CCHMC. Research can be clinical, translational, or basic biomedical science (at the bench).
SURF is designed for sophomore and junior level students who are U.S. residents. Students must be able to commit to the full 9 or 10 week program to do a research internship. SURF students are matched with an appropriate faculty advisor, based on mutual research interest. The advisor and intern design a specific research project within the context of the research focus of the advisor's laboratory. Selection of the research is biased toward projects which can result in a student-authored poster which can be presented at the SURF Capstone Symposium and Poster Session at the end of the summer.
Students in any of the five programs who are placed in labs at Cincinnati Children’s may do clinical shadowing with the permission of their mentors; students in the MSTP SURF program are required to do clinical shadowing in addition to a research project.
ROSE is part internship, part early acceptance to medical school, and part mentorship program.
ROSE students spend two consecutive summers at the University of Cincinnati working with current faculty and research staff. The first summer is 8 weeks and the second summer is ten weeks. Research can be clinical, translational, or basic biomedical science (at the bench).
The ROSE program is designed for sophomore and junior level students who are Ohio residents or who live in certain Indiana or Kentucky counties that receive Ohio reciprocity. Only students who have successfully completed one year of college coursework as full-time, matriculated undergraduate students in a four-year, degree granting program will be considered. Students must be able to commit at least two consecutive summers to do a research internship. ROSE summer interns are matched with an appropriate faculty advisor, based on mutual research interest. The advisor and intern design a specific research project within the context of the research focus of the advisor's laboratory. Selection of the research is biased toward projects which can result in a student-authored publication.
SPEP is a six-week residential summer program for 18 college juniors, seniors, and postbaccalaureate premedical students from the U.S. Students receive intensive exposure to medicine as a career through tours, speakers, seminars, and shadowing.
The Howard Hughes Excellence in Science Education and Learning Program (ExSEL I) is a five-week summer, basic science enrichment program for 20 gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors from the Cincinnati area.
The Howard Hughes Excellence in Science Education and Learning II Program (ExSEL II) is open to students only the summer following successfully completing the ExSEL Program.
ExSEL II is a 9-week program in which the 7 best students who apply from the prior ExSEL graduating class are chosen to work on their own research project in a mentor’s lab for 40 hours per week. Students are matched with a mentor at UC COM and CCHMC. Research can be clinical, translational, or basic biomedical science (at the bench).
Senior Summer Internship Program at CCHMC is an 8-week program in which graduating high school seniors work 20 hours per week with a mentor in one of 16 pediatric clinical specialties. This internship is a paid, part-time position for graduating seniors only. The program is very competitive, offering an exciting opportunity for highly motivated students interested in pursuing higher education (MD, PhD, or MD/PhD) to learn more about careers in Medicine and Clinical Research.
View the letter inviting Cincinnati area graduating seniors to apply.
The BRIMS program offers an outstanding science training opportunity for Cincinnati area graduating high school seniors and college freshmen. The program is designed to involve minority students traditionally underrepresented in biomedical careers in cutting-edge scientific research conducted in an academic medical center to stimulate their interest in pursuing biomedical research careers.
For Undergraduates at the University of Cincinnati
This undergraduate research opportunity is sponsored by Cincinnati Children's Hospital, UC College of Medicine (UCCOM), and the University Honors Program.
Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at UC COM and CCHMC mentor University Honors students in biomedical research labs. This program is geared towards first- and second-year undergraduate honors students (with or without prior research experience) who are interested in careers in biomedical research and/or entering PhD, MD, or MD/PhD programs in biomedical fields.
University Honors Program - University Honors students who are engaged in unpaid research or internships can apply for honors grants to support their work.
The UC Sigma Xi chapter offers this competitive award to full-time UC students for Grants-in-Aid of Research in all areas of science and engineering. Students may use the award for travel expenses to and from a research site, to present research results at a national science or engineering meeting, or for purchase of consumable research materials and supplies or non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project. These grant awards are made possible by the Violet M. Diller Endowment to the UC Chapter of Sigma Xi and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
The Taft Research Center's Undergraduate Research Award recognizes superior undergraduate student achievement in the completion of a substantial independent research project that culminates in the writing of a capstone paper, thesis, or expository work and its presentation preferably at the annual University Undergraduate Research Conference or some other academic setting at UC or beyond. The broad purpose of the award is to reward undergraduates for engaging in substantial and creative independent research.
The Department of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Program provides an opportunity for students to conduct research with Biological Sciences faculty or with outside faculty whose research is relevant to the biological sciences.
All undergraduates are eligible, but faculty may prefer students that have completed two years of coursework.
Summer Undergraduate Mentored Research at UC provides a 10-week, fully supported, mentored, intensive research experience for rising juniors and seniors with an interest in pursuing graduate education. Students selected for the program will work on projects under the supervision of advanced UC graduate students. Projects are available in a broad range of fields.
WISE is a 12-week summer Research Experience for Women Undergraduates (REWU) in science and engineering, that engages women students at UC in research projects with faculty in a wide variety of disciplines.
Vision: to provide an environment for women in Science and Engineering to attain their full potential as students and faculty.
Mission: to engage women students in activities with faculty and peers to promote their success in the science and engineering professions.
The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program helps undergraduate students prepare for doctoral studies through various scholarly activities. It is one of several Federal TRIO Programs - educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes six outreach programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation, and disabled students as they progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.
STARS is for freshmen and sophomores aspiring to become McNair Scholars.
AIP is Available to students in any major who are not required to participate in another experiential program (co-op, internship, etc….). Junior status is preferred (but Sophomores in good standing are welcome). Participants work 10-30 hours, while taking classes at UC.
This UC program provides summer stipend support to outstanding undergraduate students at UC. Stipend support of $750 per month for two months will be provided. All undergraduate students from UC who will not have graduated by Summer semester are eligible to apply for the award during the Spring semester. Fellowships are limited to undergraduate students who are engaged 20 hrs/week on their research during the period of the award. Students who have been accepted into other UC-sponsored summer undergraduate programs are eligible to apply for this fellowship. If awarded, the student will receive the higher of the two stipends and the URC funds will be used for all or part of that support.
To learn about other summer opportunities, please visit:
Summer Opportunities at the UC College of Medicine
Research Education at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation